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Rose English
12-13-2009, 07:53 AM
Forgive me, I am about to refer to Ernest Hemingway in the loosest manner. I think he said something along the lines of, for him, sex and writing were run off the same motor. Therefore he could do one or the other, but not both in a given time frame.

Well. This year, after NaNo, I felt like I had frozen physically into a solid lump of human tissue. My body felt so stiff from disuse. My neck ached, my shoulders ached, and frankly, my arse ached from sitting so still for so many hours. So I began hitting the gym again.

I've lost 7 pounds already which feels great. But I notice my drive to write has also diminished. I still think about writing most of the time, but I don't actually do it.

Anybody else have this problem? Your situation might not be due to working out, it might be some other interest that you 'spend your juice' on. What do you do about it? Why can't I be fit AND write?

Musings and ramblings welcome!

Lost World
12-14-2009, 05:59 AM
Ideally, I think exercise and writing should go hand in hand, as exercise releases endorphins that give you a natural high and stir your thoughts. A great combination; the only problem is time. With work--the kind you do to pay the bills as opposed to writing--thrown in the mix, it's hard to find time to work, write and exercise all in the same day, so something has to give, and it's never work.

This has been a serious dilemma for me as well. I took several years off from writing, and in that time I got myself into very good shape. I'm still in good shape now, but not like I used to be. It's all about priorities, and writing is the highest one when I'm on project (quite a bit these days).

Anyhow, it's Sunday night, I've just spent the last six hours editing a story, and my ass feels like it's made of lead. Time to lift some weights!

Polenth
12-14-2009, 07:33 AM
I don't have trouble exercising and writing, but I exercise at home. So there's no travel time and I sit down to write as soon as I've finished exercising (and before too... I tend to do first drafts before, then edit after the exercise break).

Maybe something less intensive you could do at home would help?

NeuroFizz
12-14-2009, 07:51 AM
Forgive me, I am about to refer to Ernest Hemingway in the loosest manner. I think he said something along the lines of, for him, sex and writing were run off the same motor. Therefore he could do one or the other, but not both in a given time frame.
Yeah. I find it's bad form to insist on only those "intimate" positions where I can put pen to paper while simultaneously shaking the sheets.


Well. This year, after NaNo, I felt like I had frozen physically into a solid lump of human tissue. My body felt so stiff from disuse. My neck ached, my shoulders ached, and frankly, my arse ached from sitting so still for so many hours. So I began hitting the gym again.

I've lost 7 pounds already which feels great. But I notice my drive to write has also diminished. I still think about writing most of the time, but I don't actually do it.

Anybody else have this problem? Your situation might not be due to working out, it might be some other interest that you 'spend your juice' on. What do you do about it? Why can't I be fit AND write?
Give it some time, Rose. Gym work requires dedication, but it can also be addicting. But any time we engage in some new activity that has positive benefits (either physically, emotionally, or both), it can squeeze out other activities and interests, at least temporarily. You are likely in that initial "shuffle" period where you have to establish a new routine or set of routines. My guess is writing will find it's time and place, and there shouldn't be any reason to suspect working out and writing will become an either-or proposition.

Kalyke
12-14-2009, 06:55 PM
My work takes a huge hunbk of my time. I really dislike it. Time I should be writing, I am at work doing some horrible mundane task that I hate. Unfortunately, I have to make money somehow. It totally saps me of energy. I can't believe how much time is involved to get the stupid rent.

Jamesaritchie
12-14-2009, 08:31 PM
Always exercise. Find a way. And at least as important, don't sit for long periods of time. Get up and away from the keyboard once per hour and spend ten minutes getting your circulation back.

But you've named one of my main complaints about NaNo. Too many writers burn themselves out during NaNo month, and do so writing something that stands no chance of ever being published.

Phaeal
12-14-2009, 09:58 PM
I'd say it's less a problem with exercise than a reaction to NaNo intensity. Give yourself time to come down from the month-long adrenaline rush; meanwhile, do sit down (or stand up if your desk is high enough) and write for an hour a day. Free-write, if that's all that comes. You'll probably surprise yourself.

I like to write for an hour or two, then take a walk, then write some more. More than two hours in a chair, nope, not good. What I'd really love is one of these standing desks that's attached to a very slow (1 mph) treadmill. You can stroll and write at the same time! Some workplaces are using these, I believe. If not a treadmill desk, a standing desk is useful.

What has stopped me dead in the past is getting caught up in gaming. Right now I'm so used to that old standby Diablo that I can play it for an hour at a time for recreation. I'll be in trouble when Diablo III comes out, and I've avoided World of Warcraft like the plague I know it would be for my writing.

Rose English
12-19-2009, 07:40 AM
Thank you all for your thoughts.

I think, after a few days digesting your responses, that I was panicking about exercise somehow satisfying the emotional or creative need I have to write. I should've simply looked at it as a time management problem, I am in the 'shuffle' phase as NeuroFizz puts it. I have the most energy in the evening after I've fed my family and my son has been put to bed, and this was my prime writing time. Now I am using it to work out, perhaps I need to look at early morning writing again. Or write after exercising, when I am buzzing with energy.

Perhaps also this is a reaction to NaNo as Phaeal suggests - particularly as I trunked this years work. It makes a change to exhaust my body rather than my mind, and it's easier to fling myself into physical exertion and the concrete targets of a treadmill rather than think about what didn't work in my writing.

So your answers have helped me, and I'll figure it out. Thank you, I'm so grateful to this community :Hug2:.