Saturday, July 26, 2008
The Creative Workout
Starting an exercise program after a prolonged time of couch potatoness isn't pretty.
Every step is torture. The muscles ache and the joints groan. You find a million other important things to do at workout time. (Hey, 'The Next Food Network Star' is about to come on.)
However, if you keep regular appointments with your body, eventually the muscles wake up, the endorphins flow, and you find yourself stronger, faster, and even lighter. What was once a chore and a struggle becomes, if not easy, at least do-able.
After a long hiatus from writing fiction, I tackled a couple of projects this week.
Whew! I'm out of shape.
In an effort to get back into the flow, I'm committing a set amount of time every day to write fiction. Not a huge chunk, but significant. Just like I set apart a time daily to workout, shower, dress, and eat, this time will be sacred. It will take effort on my part to sit down and shut out the rest of the world. To fall into the world I'm creating. When I'm tempted to do something else, I'll ask the questions I ask when I don't want to put on my walking shoes. "Is the goal you've set important to you?' 'Do you feel great when you've completed your workout?'
If I work my creative life like my physical one, then a thousand words written a day will be fifteen hundred, then two thousand. Just like walking a torturous twenty minutes has become an easy forty-five.
Wanna feel my muscles?
When I was a teenager, we had a neighbor family whose daughter was into ballet big time. She eventually went on to dance for the New York Ballet. One of the things I remember most was her incredible flexibility. She could bend in half backwards. She told me that she did exercises every morning to teach her body how to be impossibly flexible. To turn at unnatural angles. To be strong enough to make it all look graceful. Without her barre every day, she would not be able to perform when the time was right.
What are your creative workouts? Your barre exercises? What keeps you fresh and helps you learn new techniques?