It goes without saying that you should drink plenty of water while you are writing.
Water is vital for life, vital for health, and vital for avoiding the kind of dehydration that prevents joints and muscles from functioning at their best.
Face it, none of Shakespeare’s plays were written by a withered husk, and even Auden feigned something resembling movement when he scribbled out his impenetrable drivel.
The last thing you need when typing out your opus operandum is any kind of joint stiffness, muscular tiredness or atrophy, all-body decay, imminent petrification or psoriasis.
(Point of fact: that last one is a real stinker. Keyboards are cheaper than they used to be, but there is no point eating into your measly writer’s income because your flesh has fallen from you as dust and clogged up all your keys, over and over, like an unstoppable snowstorm of exfoliated rot.)
So — are we all agreed?
Water helps to keep you mobile, functional, and free from atrophy or death.
Also in the mix: brain power (which I will come on to later).
It may seem like you can get away with drinking coffee, substituting nature’s crushed turd of a bean for pure water, but from a writing perspective, drinking coffee is full of more no-no’s than a failed Yes Man forced to divulge his expertise at gunpoint.
Fact 1: Coffee contains caffeine — even the de-caf stuff, because the entire coffee industry is erected, one percolation at a time, on a sham.
Drink just one molecule of coffee, and your brain will be whooshed into a nightmare arena of jittery agitation, there to do battle with a giant, pulsating maggot.
Fact 2: That last fact wasn’t actually a fact in the strictest sense, but I reckon you would be a fool not to trust me to be half right, especially the part about the maggot.
All I am saying is — don’t drink coffee while you are writing, or you will churn out the most unbelievable nonsense, dictated more by the chemical aberrations cracking off in your skull than the intersynapsory full-on sex demanded of an act of creation.
Also: coffee is more expensive than keyboards.
Stick with water, and you’ll go far on the productivity deal.
Water invigorates your body’s sub-cellular electrolytic fancy, and factors in automatic pee breaks throughout the day if you drink it by the bucketload.
We all know how important it is not to become stiff while writing at a desk (because if you don’t, the only solution is to write at one of those funky new standing or treadmill desks and die 10 years earlier than you otherwise would have), and regular pee breaks kick in after the first hour if you are generous with your water.
Truth is, if you hit it right and get into your stride early, your pee breaks will happen naturally every ten minutes, and last 3-5 minutes apiece, so you can save even more money by dropping the desk and chair, and typing everything out on the toilet.
Fact: no one ever developed stiffness while sitting on a toilet unless they were taking part in a porn movie.
(As an alternative, you may want to make like an astronaut and utilise a purpose-built urine retention sac, colour co-ordinated to match your study curtains.)
Final word: Water is a vital component of brain power.
In spite of history’s greatest ever philosophers and today’s life hack gurus, we still don’t know how consciousness works exactly, but if one thing is abundantly clear, it is water.
Without it, brains shrivel and die, planets ossify, and fruits turn black and decidedly unsavoury of exterior.
When you are writing, the number one bundle of anatomical kit you need to keep functioning at its best (after your fingers, your backside, and your lungs) is your brain.
If you’ve ever been chained in a dungeon and deprived of water for two weeks, you’ll know how difficult it becomes to think clearly and cogently.
Same goes for writing, only in miniature.
Skimp on the water, and you lose the plot.
It’s as if your brain flails helplessly around the inside of your skull, crying, “Noooooooo! Help me! Help me! Urrrrgggghhhhhh! Urrrrrgggghhhhh!!!”
Do not do this to yourself.
Do. NOT. Do this to. Yourself.
So: drink water while you are writing — and plenty of it.
Stay productive, stay conscious, stay alive.
Image c/o typexnick @morguefile