So I had a bit of a scare last week when I ended up a bit sick out of nowhere. I woke up feeling fine, worked out, felt fine, came home, sat down to write and skipped both lunch and dinner and didn’t think anything about it until I went to get up nine hours later and found my ass on the floor. Now I’ve skipped enough meals to know that it’s not a good idea but it won’t knock me completely out. Not like this.
Thankfully there are people in my house with medical training who were smart enough to look inside my mouth and pinch the skin on my ankles and say ‘well congrats stupid you’re dehydrated.’ My response was ‘but how?’ Please no one state the obvious.
After a little research on my part it turns out that 64 oz of water is great but you can’t count all the stuff you drink while you’re exercising. It’s 64 oz on top of the bits your sweating out. So yeah, sitting at my desk typing away requires 64 oz of fluid above and beyond what I’d drank earlier. Especially if you’re like me and like to work outside when the weather is nice.
A suggestion from a friend of mine who is also a writer in Florida (where it gets a lot hotter than PA) was to do the following to make sure you get your water intake: Every time you finish a task—writing a chapter, editing a chapter, social media, ect.—take a short break to stretch your back and get a glass of water. Then you can sip on it while you work on the next bit and when you reach your next stopping point you can go for water again.
I’m going to give it a try this week and see if it helps. After all I don’t want to dehydrate again—the headache was a killer and I ended up having to get rid of half of what I thought was good work the night before because I’d gone off on a tangent and hadn’t even noticed.
So there you go. Writing a novel may not be the most hazardous of careers (normally) but apparently even those of us who sit on our asses all day need to get plenty of water so we don’t get sick. Especially in the summer when you’re typing away on the deck or by the swimming pool or wherever. So there you go, drink plenty of water and save yourself the humiliation of ending up on your butt with a group of people looking at you like a moron because you didn’t take a drink break because you’re characters were too interesting to leave alone. They’ll still be interesting when you get back.