Novel Writing and Exercise- an unlikely pair?
How many of you want to write a book? A memoir, novel, how to, self-help?
Methinks many of us are raising our hands. I'm here to tell you that you can. And you will. And right now is a very good time to start. Here's why:
In 2010 I started writing a book...and 50 or 60,000 words later I had done it! In roughly a month's time. Unfortunately it wasn't really the book I wanted to share with the world. But the point was that I knew I could do it again if I'd already done it once.
So this year (this month in fact), I'm writing again. This time a fictional account of a not-well-traveled young woman from the South who becomes an au pair in Italy and, well, shenanigans ensue.
But that book is not the point of this post. It's about what produces the ideal conditions to write!
For me, there's something about the month of November that's really really good for churning out word count.
Not least is the energy and momentum created by Nanowrimo world wide. Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) is a massive phenomenon of grassroots support for writers of all stripes to commit to write a novel in a month! You can sign up on their website.
But it's not just the structure of Nanowrimo... it's also that I commit to an exercise program at the same time that I commit to writing. Now lest you think I'm dictating a bodice ripper whilst stair climbing to heaven and the Chinatown YMCA, let me assure you that I am not. In fact I sit on my butt a LOT in order to write. And then bust said bum during my workout at a different time during the day.
In 2010, I would work out (Beachbody's Insanity Program with Shawn T was my torture of choice) and then write in an airy cafe with my very civilized brioche, jam and tea.
Ah what an idyllic time. I felt like such a badass after doing Insanity that the paragraphs poured off me (like so many sweat droplets). Hahahahaha. Sorry I can't resist sometimes.
THIS time around, I'm fitting in 30 minute writing sessions around my crazy active toddler and my near constant tidying chores. As for work outs? Well I am doing Sweat With Kayla (I started with Beginner 2) and have to say that I've lost visible weight after only two weeks.
Anyway, my point is, don't listen to the productivity gurus! They'll all tell you to focus on ONE THING at a time. That's not exactly how I see it.
I find that when I'm super duper committed to BOTH a physical goal and a personal or business one at the same time, then they are both more likely to happen. My theory is that exercise makes everything better. Or that working out the physical gives us momentum to continue in the metaphysical.
And I'm not making this up. Consider why yoga even exists: to calm the body pre-hours long meditation sessions. Imagine sitting cross legged for eight hours when you can't even sit cross legged to begin with?! You'd fail at being a good Hindu. So- yoga. Yoga limbers up the body to make long sitting/meditation sessions possible.
And for me, exercise makes short writing sessions possible. Along with Nanowrimo and a generous book agent who is encouraging me along the way. With edits. And wine.