Here are resources that I use and recommend. After I mention a useful resource in a blog post, I’ll make sure to add it here.
Coaching the Artist Within– Eric Maisel teaches you how to use the techniques used by creativity coaches on yourself. This book is invaluable, especially if you find yourself creatively blocked. Get the book on Amazon.
Daily Rituals: How Artists Work– Mason Currey’s book is a collection of the habits of 200 artists. This makes for good bedtime reading. I’ve found myself re-reading it a few times as well. It’s addictive! Get the book on Amazon.
Bird By Bird– Anne Lamott has written an honest and approachable book about writing. It’s helpful if you’re looking for some encouragement on writing from a down-to-earth writing coach (with some laughs along the way). Get the book on Amazon.
Show Your Work– Austin Kleon teaches you how to become known by sharing your work and engaging in the creative community. Get the book on Amazon.
The Classic Guide to Better Writing– Rudolf Flesch and A.H. Lass provide helpful techniques and exercises to write simply, clearly, and correctly. Get the book on Amazon.
- Bluehost: This is the web hosting solution that I use, and the one I recommend for hosting your website. Hosting starts at $3.95 per month and it takes minutes to get your domain and WordPress set up. Give Bluehost a try.
- WordPress: This is the software I use to run my blog. You can do a one-click install of WordPress using Bluehost. Set up a WordPress blog.
- ConvertKit: I use this software for sending out my email newsletter and creating email marketing campaigns. Try ConvertKit.
Pomodoro Technique (see full post: How I Use the Pomodoro Technique to Manage My Writing Time)- This is a time management technique developed by Francesco Cirillo. It involves deciding on a task, setting a 25 minute timer, working in “monk mode” for 25 minutes, and then taking a 5 minute break (the key is to get up and move around during your break!). See the official website. I’ve tried quite a few Pomodoro timer apps for the iPhone, and my favorite is Focus Keeper. My favorite thing about using Pomodoro technique is that it allows me to set mini-goals along the way and gamify my task.
I’ve tried gyms and personal trainers, and self-trained for a marathon. My philosophy on exercise is to keep it simple and efficient (minimal time commitment with results) and build it into your existing routines as much as possible. My routine currently is bodyweight exercise 10-20 minutes, 4-5 days per week + daily walking and hiking.
You Are Your Own Gym– From the comfort of my studio apartment, Mark Lauren has been my virtual personal trainer since 2012. Before creating this training program, he trained Special Ops for extreme physical demands of the most elite levels. This is the most accessible training program for bodyweight exercises that can be done by anyone at any age or difficulty level. I started with the book, and later got the iPhone app and companion bodyweight straps. Get the book on Amazon. Depending on your home setup, you may want to get the bodyweight straps to help you perform some of the exercises. A pull-up bar is also useful. Get the bodyweight exercise companion straps on Amazon.
I’ve tried all sorts of diets, and my philosophy is one of experimentation and personal responsibility. Take your health and nutrition into your own hands. Don’t trust government nutritional recommendations. Don’t trust your doctor. Don’t trust any single book / blog post / podcast. Do your own research and experimentation to find out what food gives you the energy you need to perform at your best.
The Wild Diet– Encouraged by Abel James’ Fat Burning Man podcast for some time, I got his book and started following the wild diet. It revolves around eating high-quality, locally sourced whole foods. This has changed my relationship with food and how I prioritize it in my life. Get the book on Amazon.
Brain Maker– Neurologist Dr. Perlmutter wrote this book on the power of gut microbes to heal and protect the brain. This involves eating lots of probiotics like yogurt, kefir, saurkraut and kimchee. I have one of these with almost all of my daily meals. Get the book on Amazon.
The Fast Diet– Michael Mosley’s book is a great introduction to intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is a way of reducing or restricting calorie consumption, usually for a period of 16-18 hours, followed by a feeding period of 6-8 hours. There are numerous health benefits to doing this, but it is a more advanced diet modification. Therefore, I would only recommend you start this book after you get your basic diet and nutrition in order (read The Wild Diet). Get the book on Amazon.
Coffee Alternatives (see full post: How I Fuel My Writing Without Coffee)
- Matcha green tea powder may not taste anything like coffee, but for those of us that who like to drink coffee for the energy-boosting effect, matcha packs a formidable punch. If you want to try it, you can see my top matcha picks from 2015 here.
- Chicory dandelion carob tea tastes surprisingly similar to coffee. It includes chicory root, dandelion root, carob, and ramon seeds (unlike matcha, there are no tea leaves in this blend). If you’re interested in trying it, I really like Teecino organic dandelion dark roast tea (It’s available on Amazon, I currently have a few boxes of this in stock in my pantry!).
Improving memory and brain function– DHA omega-3 supports memory and learning against age-related decline. Get DHA from Calamari.
Improving sleep quality (see full post: How I Sleep Better So I Can Write Better)
- Magnesium 2-3 hours before bedtime helps with relaxation (and many folks are deficient in this mineral). Get magnesium citrate on Amazon.
- Melatonin 30 min – 1 hour before bedtime helps induce sleep. Get melatonin on Amazon.
Managing stress– Adaptogens are you friend when it comes to managing stress. My favorite is Tulsi (holy basil). It’s calming, energizing, and stress reducing, without being stimulating like ginseng. I prefer to consume it as a tea (often times I blend it with a ginger tea). Get tulsi tea on Amazon.
Reducing inflammation– Turmeric (curcumin) helps protect cells against oxidative stress and deterioration. Black pepper increases bioavailability. Get curcumin on Amazon.
Antioxidant / free radical scavenger:
- Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) supports the body’s natural free radical scavenging function. Get Alpha Lipoic Acid on Amazon.
- Matcha green tea has 10x the antioxidants of green tea and has been researched for its cancer preventing properties. See my reviews of matcha at Matcha Reviews.
- Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice (DGL)
- Ginger (tea)