Exercise is to Writing as Writing is to Exercise

Writers write. Writers work-out, too. While we spend a lot of time mulling over ideas, working, and generally adulting, we also workout. I LOVE seeing photos on social media of writers going to the gym. So often we post gorgeous photography or family photos, but because there isn’t an emphasis on physical health in our profession, we often don’t post about it. It’s not that we aren’t working out, it’s just that we often don’t feel it’s “important enough” to post about.

When I’m scrolling through Instagram or FB and see writers exercising, it makes me feel motivated. My favorite form of exercise is RPM/Cycling. I love the loud music, the intensity, and I’ve loved the feeling of being on a bike since I was a little girl. I also do strength and weight training classes. (My goal in these classes is just to make it to the end of the class.) Within the past year, I’ve added swimming because I finally learned how to swim last year at the age of 34.

Physical exercise is just as important as our craft. Being healthy and taking care of our bodies is part of being human. As I’ve been thinking this over, and also trying to encourage myself (my own self 🙂) to develop consistency with working out, I realized there are several metaphorical comparisons between exercising and writing. Here are a few:

1) Exercise is a requirement to become physically stronger, just as writing exercises develop our mental flexibility and help us to see new possibilities for where we can take our work. Sometimes we don’t even know our own strength or ability until we are challenged in a new way.

2) After I’ve written something I feel is strong or good, I save the file. I don’t erase it or delete it. On the other hand, after I’ve had a good workout, I carelessly delete it by what I eat afterward. What if I ate something healthy so as not to “delete” my work out? Why should I exert myself and work so hard on my body and then erase that work immediately? Come on, Kwoya.

3) Why do I expect to see results early after I begin working out? As a person who’s been writing for over twenty years, I know that it takes a while to develop my craft. It takes dedication, reading, consistency, and constant exercise. Why should my physical body be any different? If I study the things I don’t know while making needed modifications will I see a difference in my health? Absolutely. Will I become stronger? Yes!

4) Because writing is a part of my self-care (Re: Javacia Harris Bowser’s blog) when I write, I am taking care of myself. I am loving myself by doing the thing that I was given to do. I know I am my best self when I am writing. Similarly, I feel great when I am consciously taking care of my body.

IMG_2621 (1)These are just a few comparisons between writing and working out, though the list is endless. What are your thoughts?

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