122 Rules by Deek Rhew

Monday, March 25, 2013

Healthy Prose

I love working out. There, I've said it. It seems like such a simple thing, but Americans at large seem to equate it to slaving in the salt mines or sleeping on a bed of hot coals. Personally, I love the feeling of my body transitioning from rest to work in a sheen of sweat. Nothing quite like it.

I lift, do cardio, and usually something on the weekend. Last Sunday it was 45 miles on my bike, yesterday my daughter and I went skiing. If I can figure out how to squeeze it in I want to start climbing and learn to swim--no, unlike almost all other kids I never learned. Oh and there's Tough Mudder in June. Need to start training for that.

So what does this have to do with writing? Everything actually. I find I can hardly write if I start missing my workouts. This is true for my regular 8-5 too. Miss my cardio or lifting session and by the end of the day I'm exhausted and can hardly move, and trust me, no one wants to be around "the grump". The worst part is I feel like crap and, mentally, things just don't seem to function right.

Writing is bitch if I don't take care of myself. I wonder at the famous writers who were alcoholics or drug users and smoked like chimneys. How did they do it? Did their imbibing take them to the place they needed to go to bust out the prose? Sometimes, I'll find a Corona or a glass of wine will help get my mind in the right place, tonight it's white wine, but I do 90% of my writing drinking coffee first thing in the morning, headset in, music blaring. This is how I go to my place and find my muse.

But if I haven't been working out, it's almost impossible to get to my place. This is true of writing HTML as it is of prose. Something about it clears out the cobwebs, or greases the cogs, or whatever.

Also, it is my social time. When you spend seven plus hours a week with your friends "pumping iron" or a couple hours with friends in spin, it gives you time to talk. This too, can help your story. How can you write good dialog if you never have good conversations?

My point here, is don't sacrifice your health for writing or anything else. At least for me, it doesn't work, I don't get more done even though I have more time and what I do get done needs more editing. At the very least if you aren't as around as long, you have less time to write, right?

"I don't have time," is the most common excuse in the universe. I hate excuses. I work full time, write a couple hours a day--in the mornings before the IT world has leached the creativity from my bones and have two teens. Lunch time is for lifting. My evenings are spent with my kids, reading, working my blog, and on occasion, editing that simply cannot wait. Also, weekends. Usually up by 6:30 writing until everyone else gets up and disturbs my writing world.

Life's busy and full, but never boring and I love it.

The next time you find yourself dragging the words from your muse, change your scenery and maybe go run a mile or two. You never know.

Carry on.

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