Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Will Type for Chocolate

After a couple of months of not exercising, I'm on day 3.  Oh.  My.  Gawd.  I alternate full and light workouts, and so yesterday's workout wasn't so bad.  I'd even be willing to put in writing here and now that it was fun and pleasant.  But the soreness!  I get to giggle at myself all day long, especially trips up and down the stairs when my legs start whining.

C.S. Cole has observed, and I agree, that exercise helps hugely with creativity.  A friend of mine just got a Wii, and her painting exploded.  (No, not literally--sheesh!)  When I took the master's class, our instructors spent some time talking about how physically demanding writing can be.  (Seriously, it is.)  Think of it as a reverse-toll in terms of cardio-vascular health.  To head off potential problems with blood clots and stroke, and to keep weight from ballooning, writers need to eat right and get some aerobic exercise.  Also, to keep the mind sharp, no drinking alcohol before or during writing.  (Makes sense to me so I've adopted this habit or rather non-habit, though I do miss sipping wine while writing in the evening.  I've also added no snacking during writing.  Not only does snacking make my keyboard gross, but it leads to mindless eating--lots of calories with no enjoyment because I'm not paying attention to the wonderful experience of eating.)  Writers also have to have some serious strength and endurance in their hands, wrists, neck, shoulders and lower back.  It's good to have balanced fitness, but weakness in these areas in particular can literally end a writing career when, after a hard push, the writer suffers a catastrophic failure or an overuse injury.  Carpal tunnel syndrome is just the tip of the iceberg.  Try writing while flat on your back in constant pain, or without the use of one of your shoulders.  It can be done, but would you produce as much?  Might you perchance develop a monotone of subject matter, or plot, or characterization if you were in constant pain?  

Stuff to think about.

So I have a date with Jillian today (oh Jillian, how I love to hate you.)  I'm also depriving myself of chocolate until I get my Nano novel written to The End.  This has been remarkably motivating.  I knew I consumed some chocolate every day, but I had no idea how much.  Trader Joe's brick pieces.  Chocolate-covered raisins from Costco--accept no substitutions.  Hot chocolate with mini-marshmallows.  Ice cream with chocolate chips or chocolate cups; we're now out of vanilla ice cream.  I think by the time I finish the novel, I'll have dropped a few pounds from lack of chocolate alone!

Chocolate, chocolate, how you torment me ....

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