Diet Secrets to Doubling Your Word Count

Oct 8, 2009

Does diet effect word count? I’m not a doctor or nutritionist, but experience tells me it does.

Last week I posted about my new sugar-free self. It hasn’t been easy, but the results make the cravings for a piece of dark chocolate tolerable. Seriously, I’m starting to feel like my old self again. AND I’m enjoying the benefits of seeing my writing goals move within reach.

Here’s a sampling: I’ve written more blog posts in the past two weeks than I have in months. I’ve also put together two talks for the upcoming Author Extravaganza Writers Conference, started working on my presentation for DCW in two weeks, submitted a couple queries and short stories, outlined the entire first half of my novel idea, and worked on the proposal for my non-fiction book. Add to that my normal office work for the writers group I lead, the weekly devotionals I write for various other blogs, several mentoring appointments and, last but not least, my normal mommy and wifey adventures. And the truth is I’m not killing myself to get this stuff done. I close my computer by 6 each night to watch the Colorado Rockies push themselves into the playoffs or read a good book.

Here’s a few diet secrets to increasing your daily productivity. And, if you’re a writer, you might just see your word count double:

  • Start With a Low-Sugar, Protein-Rich Jumpstart: sugary foods in the morning taste sweet, but they’ll end up leaving you sluggish by mid-morning. Try something with protein, like a scrambled egg, or oatmeal with sausage links. I also add flax seed to yogurt for the extra iron.
  • Small, Healthy Snacks at Key Times Throughout the Day: I’m up at 5:45 am and eat breakfast with my boys by 6:30 am. So by 10 am I’m starving. The same thing happens around 3 in the afternoon. Small, healthy, sugar-free snacks curb the hunger and give me a little extra boost to pound out a few more pages. Need ideas? Try rice crackers (or rice cake) topped with a thin layer of 100% natural cashew butter and a banana slices, enjoyed with a glass of milk. OR a plain yogurt smoothie made with either fresh fruit or a teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa and 100% natural almond butter. Yum!
  • Drink Plenty of Water: Water is fuel for your brain. I live in Colorado, where it’s easy to dehydrate. If you’re starting to feel sleepy, drink a glass or two of water. It wouldn’t hurt to get rid of all that Diet Coke, either.
  • Move: Okay, this isn’t really a “diet secret” but physical activity goes hand-in-hand with what you eat. Taking a brisk walk can definitely boost the creative juices and, therefore, your productivity. I usually add one of these during the early afternoon, when my body starts to slow down.
  • No Late-night Desserts: Much to my heartbreak, I’ve had to break my habit of cookies and milk or a bowl of ice cream before bed. Eating so late at night interferes with sleep, causing fatigue the next day. I’m not doing any desserts right now, but if and when I add the occasional treat back into my diet, it will be earlier in the day, rather than later.

Any others you’d like to add?


  1. Jerolyn

    All great common sense ideas Michele. You put it in such simple terms. I also notice I have less aches and pains when I eat less sugar.

  2. Jan Parrish

    I’m getting to the point where I rarely eat sugar. It upsets my stomach. My body is getting used to good food, which makes me happy.


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