Nourish the physical
I feel that, on the third week of my journey to write a novel, I should share how much caring for my physical self augments my ability to stay on task. We know that our bodies were designed to move frequently, that movement keeps us well, and yet I am a writer. So movement is very important. This year is like an extended marathon for me, and when viewed as such, that means I need to get in shape, and stay in shape.
I’m currently a shape…
Fortunately for me, I do enjoy physical activity; so at least I do not have a resistance to the idea of movement. I also enjoy the outdoors – however it’s frequently in the 90’s here, and it’s fire season – so indoors I go. Yes, I joined a gym. They are a lot less costly than they used to be and they seem to have finally gotten the message and stopped with the contracts. It’s a modest gym, but it has solid equipment that I like, and classes that I’m not ready to take. This is where I will work on my strength and endurance.
Right now I’m entering that stage where I think I’m better than I am, and as a result am always trying to determine if I’m having a heart attack or if, just perhaps, I wasn’t ready to go up in resistance and add that five minutes to my faux rowing session. Still, in just three weeks, sitting is more comfortable, and my hunger is declining while my lust for greens is increasing. But it can’t be all cardio and weights, so this week I’m adding a yoga session. Less twinging in my future.
This is part of being a writer. The mind is connected to the body. Gone is the longing for, or at least it should be, of the mind as an island. The two should work in harness, and a solid physical regimen should accompany work. Perhaps you do not need it to produce; but I would urge you to try the coupling of it, as I think then you might find yourself producing more with less effort.
I do want you to know, when beginning to dig myself out of the mindset that I “just couldn’t create because <insert unfavorable portent excuse here>”, I was in no shape to join a gym. Walking was an effort, and I could not go far. Speaking of chest twinges, going up a mild grade would have me convinced I’d be going down it in an ambulance. So I started small, and there were set-backs. Months that I stopped, then resumed. Perhaps this is you, too. I encourage you to throw it away. It happened. You did not become a chiseled marathoner entering your first decathlon. Neither did I. The difference is that you just keep picking it back up again. And again. Once more into the breech.
So perhaps you feel foolish, starting back where you started long ago, or even further behind than the last time. Screw that noise. Let it go. Walk a block. Then do it again tomorrow. Start parking away from the doors. Through little motions, that we come back to again and again, novels are made.