July 11, 2011

Writing Fitness: Flexing your Writing Muscles

We exercise and eat well to keep ourselves fit and healthy. Similarly, writers should flex their writing muscles and nourish their writing soul to stay in the game. It's time to focus on your writing fitness!

Writing Fitness Goals:

1. Organize your Tools

Instead of weights, exercise videos, and water, make sure you have all your writing tools handy. Create an environment that fosters writing. The more efficient your workspace the more efficient your work. If you are constantly distracted, the writing won't flow.

2. Set goals/Monitor Results

As with any fitness routine, you have to set goals. What are you trying to achieve? Are you trying to finish your next piece, get one off the ground, or free write for ideas? Don't be afraid to reassess goals as you build your routine. Keep a writing log or join a word count challenge online if your goal is writing so many words per day. Accountability helps with results.

3. Change your lifestyle

Fad diets or extreme routines rarely work. It has to become your new way of doing things. Make time every day to write.

4. Take Classes/Join groups

If it takes people to motivate you, join a writing group or challenge. Both will encourage you to stay the course and offer advice for when you struggle. Some people achieve better results with a support group. Consider local or online writing groups and online writing challenges like A Round of Words in 80 Days or National Novel Writing Month. Joining a book club can also help keep your writing senses alert.

5. Strength Training

Don't just write consistently (cardio). You also need to take classes, sign up for challenges, and read to strengthen your writing muscles. Dedicated and consistent writing builds stamina, but we also need to hone in on improving our writing skills.

6. Stretching

Any good workout routine requires stretching at the end so muscles don't become tightened and to avoid injury. Same is true in writing. Take a walk or a yoga class, anything that frees your mind and brings inner peace. Even a writing muscle becomes tight if used too much without taking a cleansing breath.

Above all, be kind to yourself. Nothing in life comes easy. We only lose momentum at times or fall off the wagon. Pick yourself up and stay the course. Write down your goals and what works and doesn't work.

Good luck with your Writing Fitness. In no time you'll have a sexy new piece to show for it.

What's the harest part of a writing fitness routine?


Kate @ Teaching What Is Good said...

Great ideas!! For me, the hardest part is the continual interruptions from my children. There's always SOMETHING going on needing my attention! ;-D

Tia Bach said...

Thanks for stopping by Kate! It was nice to see this post get some love since I thought it was fun!

Joan Lambert Bailey said...

This is a great post, especially as I've just come back from exercising! For me, the hardest part is remembering to read and/or do other things not directly related to writing, but that still strengthen it overall.

Tia Bach said...

Joan, I become obsessed with getting in shape a few times a year and as I was reasearching what program to start I kept seeing words I knew pertained to my writing life: strength, commitment, consistency, etc.

Some days I don't want to exercise/write, but I usually am glad I did!