Occupational Hazard

A big problem I have when I’m working on a first draft is weight gain. I tend not to be as fitness-oriented when I’m hammer and tongs at a first draft. You know how it is, your mind is on the book, and you’ve got a million other things to get done. The last thing you want to do is take time out to work out.

I’m actually really bad about it. I’ve not been working out like I should.

Thing is, if I’m going to have a sedentary profession, I really, really need to make sure my physical needs are taken care of. After all, you do think more clearly when your body is healthy. It’s the brain that’s the important thing as a writer, right?

I do have a pool membership and have decided to store my bathing suit in my locker there so that I have No Damn Excuse not to get my lazy butt into the pool on my lunch break and get all red in the face good and proper!

While I do have an Otterbox and waterproof earphones, I’m laying off using them in favor of using the time face down in the water to work on Stoneflower, getting my brain in gear for the night’s writing. I figure it’s a decent moving meditation. When I was a kid, I would often plot stories while riding my bike around Kennedy’s Pond, then beg permission to go out into the woods behind my best friend’s house where I’d soak my feet in the stream and actually write the story. (Oh god, if only I’d had a laptop or my Palm and keyboard then! I never did much like writing longhand).

I know of lots of writers who like to walk, and often use the time to work out stories in their minds as they do so.

I also like weights because I’m lazy. It doesn’t take very long with a pair of dumbbells to get in a decent strength-building workout. Heinlein, if I recall correctly, liked to do stone mason type work around the house to keep in shape, but still often bitched about the fact it was easy to get out of shape while working on a novel.

It’s rough, sometimes. What I really want to do is to park my butt in my writin’ chair with an appletini to get my writing done. What I really need to do is make sure I eat right and work out so that my body supports that brain I need for work. I ain’t slender and I’m naturally pretty sedentary. A serious writing project makes it that much worse!

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