This maybe a topic you’ve never heard of, but one for New Year’s Resolutions (which are days away). How can physical fitness or a trip to the gym help your writing? Shouldn’t writing tips be about writing?
Yes and no.
There are plenty of tips that involve the actual writing, reading, or editing. However, that is a small part of the writing process. Much of it occurs in the imagination or back-story that never makes it into a novel.
Being fit can:
- Increase productivity. Sometimes it’s hard for me to get out the door or even get on the floor to exercise, but I feel like I’ve accomplished something when I do.
- Endorphins. Not only does exercise help you feel better, but the mental relief with physical exertion can relieve stress or writer’s block.
- Health. If you are unhealthy there is more potential for getting sick and having down time and you can’t write. Also, if you do get sick, the recovery will take a lot less time.
- Energy. You’ll have more energy to forgo that nap during the day and use the time to write instead.
And you may need less medication (obtain Dr’s approval before stopping any medication).
Now, I’m sure many have already heard of thought of these above. How about a few more that might not be so common?
- Zumba or other dance class – can get your cardio workout in, meet new people, and give you experience when writing about dancing or a dancer.
- Martial Arts, Boxing, MMA, Jujitsu, etc. – Again, this can not only be motivation for a character, but helps ground you into the story with martial arts or fight elements. You’ll seem like an expert to those who have no knowledge or training and perhaps a nod from for those who are masters.
- Weight training. Again same as above, but it also can help increase bone mass and muscle burns more calories than fat.
- Cardio. If you are out of shape, and write about a similar character who has to run two miles to escape the villain, aside from adrenaline, would you be able to do the same? Try it with one mile or half a mile (after Dr approval of course). To me, cardio on the stationary bike, elliptical, or treadmill require little focus so I use the time to think of my story, characters, or a part that I’m stuck on.
- Character-driven. I’ve heard numerous writing tips on how to create a character-driven story if one is a plot-driven writer. One, is to exercise since it helps pull the writer out of the head and ground them more.
Sometimes it’s nice to get out of the house and forget writing for a moment and enjoy yourself while getting your body fit.