Thursday, May 27, 2010

Get Up and Get Moving

Recently I just talked with you all about the “Butt in Chair” theory. As important as it is to sit down everyday to write, you also need to find time to get out of your writing chair. This can be hard to do if you have not only manuscripts to work on, but also, websites, blogs, social site updates, workshops to prepare/do, PR/marketing, etc. However, finding the balance is very important in every writer’s life. This does not mean just finding the time to spend with your children, spouse, friends, or even finding the time to clean your house. You also need to get up and get moving for your health. I would love to tell you the pounds I packed on over the last year were because of my pregnancy. But that would be partly a lie. I had a few extra pounds to lose way before I got pregnant with Sabrina; about 40 to 45 pounds to be exact. My excuse use to be, “Why lose the extra weight when we’re trying to have another baby and I’m going to get fat anyway.” But the truth behind this state really is . . . I was too busy in all my spare time sitting and writing. As great as it was to get all that writing done, I was packing on the pounds along the way. I was also stressing my body out as well, which I did not realize until much later. It is important, as writers, to find time each day not just to write, but also, to relieve stress and get some exercise. Now, I’m not saying join a gym so you can have a six pack. What I am saying is to take along walk outside, do some yard work, take your dog(s) for a walk, do some yoga (in your house with a DVD or join a class), run, walk on a treadmill, but do something. It is not only important for your health and well-being, but for your mental state and creativity. Believe it or not, but sitting in front of a computer, notebook, or whatever you use to write is stressing you out. You might not feel it or notice it, but trust me you are stressed. Your body needs movement and a way to release the stresses of life. Getting exercise is more than being in shape, it is about being stress free. Now days, you will find me walking my neighborhood or walking on my treadmill every day around 5pm. Not just because I want to lose those nasty extra pounds, I have been putting on. I also do it because I feel much more relaxed, stress free, and happy. I feel better about my writing and myself. When I am walking, my mind opens up and my muse comes rushing in. I tend to need my phone close by so I can record all the ideas I get after a nice long walk or good muscle burning run on my treadmill. I’m sure my hubby is also happy to see his wife a bit slimmer, too. So next time you start to feel writer’s block coming on, I want you to think back to this post. Then I want you to think about the last time you got up from your writing chair and did some physical activity. I bet you will be surprised to find out it has been awhile. If it has or if you do not want to wait for writer’s block to take over . . . Then Get Up and Get Moving! You’ll be happy you did.

9 comments:

  1. I try to exercise a couple times a week, but sometimes the opportunity just slips by...

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  2. There is wonderful evidence that one of the best ways to be more creative, write better, and even knock down a writer's block is simply to get up, get moving, and get the blood flowing to the brain!

    I have a timer. I write for my specified amount of time (+ or - a bit...if the juices are flowing, who is going to interrupt that gift?!) Then another timer tells me when my alloted time for housework, etc is over. Back to ABTCAW (Apply Butt to Chair And Write) Repeat.

    The housework gets done. The dogs have long, regular walks. I spend my needed, boy! is it needed!, time on exercise, aerobics, and the trampoline. And I WRITE.

    It is better than good intentions. My timer is a tiny external conscionce keeping me on track to success.

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  3. I agree 100% Virginia. I like Pamela's idea of a timer because this is one area I really struggle with. I said in March that as soon as the weather turned decent I would begin walking at least 3 mornings a week. Has it happened yet? No. And let me tell you, I pay for it. The lower back pain from previous injuries and the sore shoulders should be enough to get my behind out of the chair; but it is so easy to try and take advantage of every working moment.

    I think I'm finally at a point where I'm ready to start doing something about it though. I've always been underweight, but am now 20 pounds heavier than I used to be. Unfortunately, it's all around my middle and I don't like it. I exercised this morning, and next week I'm going to need to force myself outside. My goal isn't to lose weight, but to tighten up muscles so I don't feel like a flabby middle-aged woman...not that there's anything wrong with that. :)

    Thanks for the great motivation.

    Cheryl

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  4. Great post. I have a TreadClimber I've really been enjoying. But sadly, haven't been on it these past few months. I need to get back into that. We also spend a lot of time kayaking in the summer. Doesn't do much for your lower body (not in our kayaks because they're so big), but it sure works your arms.

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  5. Thanks everyone for sharing so far how you are getting up and getting moving or plan to. Keep the posts coming. I really enjoy hearing from you all.

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  6. I always exercise first thing in the morning before I sit down at my computer or other area to write. I know that if I don't I will never get to it. Good luck!

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  7. I'm with Donna. I exercise every morning plus walk. If I don't do it, I feel lethargic. It also keeps the pounds off. Working hard is important, but so is keeping your body fit!!

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  8. I have a rebounder that I need to get on more often. Great for getting the lymph fluid moving and clearing out the brain fog so creativity can get flowing easier.

    Great blog post!

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  9. Such a good reminder, Virginia. I needed to hear it, too! Thanks for posting. :o)

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