I’m about ten weeks into my new fitness regimen. What that looks like is five days at the gym (three days weight training, two days cardio) and another three days at the barn. I’ve been working with a personal trainer, mostly because I knew it wouldn’t be enough to hold myself accountable to myself. And it’s been great. I feel like I’m getting stronger/healthier.
So what does this have to do with writing? A lot. Living a life as a writer is similar to the commitment one must make to health and fitness. What do you need to succeed as a writer? Dedication, Resolve, Commitment, and Self-Reliance. What do you need to succeed with your fitness goals? Same four ingredients.
Going to the gym daily is just like practicing your writing daily (or whatever habit): you’re not always going to want to do and you’re going to get frustrated. Especially in the beginning. It’s hard to form a new habit-30 days, 60 days, 90 days, whatever the going rate is on new habits. If you can find someone or something to hold you accountable for your writing in the beginning, you’ll be better off. Join a writing group (even online!), find some like-minded friends, or even enlist your roommate/significant other into goading you with, “Did you write today?” When you tell people you’re going on a diet or you’re going to go to the gym more, people almost automatically take it upon themselves to point out things like, “You’re eating that? What about your diet?” or “I thought you were supposed to go to the gym today”. These things can be annoying, but it’s people just trying to be helpful. If it works for you, get your friends to annoy you into writing.
What have I learned recently? Waiting to write until inspiration strikes is as much of an excuse as “I’m tired” is in regards to the gym. Excuses take many forms, some not so blatant as others. Psychosomatic symptoms, fatigue, lack of inspiration, and phantom aches/pains all contribute to keeping you from your writing and fitness goals.
One last thing:
A healthy body –> healthy brain –> healthy writing –> healthy person–> continuing to treat yourself right–> a healthy body, etc.
It’s a feedback loop. Which would make sense if I could denote it in a circle. Which I can’t. Because that’s too much effort. What do you want from me? Health/fitness and writing success > being technically proficient with the computer/spending time drawing a diagram. Fin.