The Writer Who Works Out: Code for Laziest Fitness Teacher Out There

yoga-241609_1280It has been some time since I’ve written and I’m going to put on my “good grad student persona” and say that it’s because I’ve been working hard on school and work. I believe with all my heart there is some truth in there. I may also be moving up the ranks in League of Legends, but no one knows that.

This is post of utility. I want encourage other writers and computer-hoverers out there to get up once in a while and stretch your lungs. I have been doing a self-imposed workout plan for five weeks now that I called “Six Weeks Until Xena”. Yes, I upped my workout game and healthy living in order to become the Warrior Princess. Since I’m almost done, all I have t show for it are thighs too large with muscle for my old jeans and some more stamina. Not the results I wanted, but I’m sure if I go six more weeks, I’ll tone down and shape up. I plan to go again but this time with less strict planing.

How many times have you started a workout plan and then had to give up because you cannot get into that routine. Or maybe you said you’d wake up at 6am and failed after a week because you are just not a morning person? I tried to be a morning person thanks to this guy (http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2014/08/14/how-to-become-a-morning-person/) and it was awesome for a little while. But then I fell off one day and got really discouraged (writers do that, when they fail–no matter what–they fail HARD). Everyone says do your workout in the morning to wake up. Hah, I can’t wake up before 9am. So sad, I know. But I did try. For months!

So here is what I want to tell you: Do not try. Now, don’t freak out. YES, WORKOUT! But let it come. I no longer do my yoga, Insanity DVDs, or belly dance routines in the morning. I started using a Spinning bike at about 1pm and suddenly my workout was better, I had energy for that gross 2pm slump that everyone hates, and I felt better. I just cannot concentrate if I haven’t some work or school or homework (or whatever!) by 10am. So I ditched the morning workout and I do it whenever I can. If I see I have an hour before something, I cram it in and think of nothing else while in my workout. WHAT ABOUT WRITING? It’s ok, I have a blessed 30 minutes before bed (even I’m crazy tired) that I try to hammer out 300 or 500 words. Just push that much longer. It’s ok.

That’s what I want you to think about while your working out and getting in no matter the time of day: It’s ok. A 1 hour workout is ONLY 4% of your day. You can do it. Don’t rush it, don’t stress while doing it. When you workout, think only of your body and feel its inner workings. I love time with my body, while I’m working it. It does things to my psychi as well. Don’t stress over it.

Here is a list of things to try:

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1st, to help you out, here is a link to a timer I have set up: http://www.intervaltimer.com/timers/5745947 This is my personal timer. I use it while I’m working or studying. I set a timer to work for an 1.5 hours or just 1 hour. When it goes off, I start some music and start this timer. It’s just 8 minutes. It gets your blood flowing and gets you awake again. Don’t forget to breathe.

2nd is yoga. You may feel weak when first doing it, but trust me, it gets easier and within a few months, you will have the muscles to feel relaxed while doing this. I recommend Fightmaster Yoga. She is free, professional, fun, and has many, MANY videos to choose from: https://www.youtube.com/user/lesleyfightmaster

3rd, go to your library and get a workout DVD. Your local library is FREE and almost unlimited in its resources. Get dance workouts, fast paced cardio, fun weight training–anything that sparks you interest. Use it for the week you get it barrow it, then get a new one. Fresh workouts keep you interested and excited about getting a new DVD.

4th, eat right. I’d say in my experience, eating right is about 70% of healthy living. I am not a fan of veggies, but I do love veggie dip. I eat celery, carrots and broccoli often enough. It has also gotten to the point that I cannot stand candy and cake. I prefer fruit pies, fruity yogurts and just fruit (nature’s candy!) in general. Impossible, you say? Nope! I love grapes more than I love Twizzlers. Try it. You’ll get there!

5th, and lastly, DO NOT cut out carbs and proteins if you are going to start exercising. The point of exercising and eating RIGHT is to get into a habit that you can maintain for your WHOLE LIFE. When working out, you need that protein to build muscle and you will need those carbs for fuel. If you are just now adding a workout to your life, don’t cut the carbs but don’t add to them too much either. This workout is new for your body and the amount of carbs you eat is fine. You are adding more work to your body and cutting off its fuel supply is a bad idea. Just don’t stuff you face. Eat slow, take small bites and you’ll be fine.

I hope this helps someone. I had intended to put more links in here, but I’ll save those for later. In the mean time, have a great day and may you find more power and strength in your days!

Morals, Rejection, Projects–Oh my!

I am probably the ∞th person to use the phrase from the great film “The Wizard of Oz”. I took it, changed it up a bit and made it my own. Sort of. This is a really bad example of what writers do. Or what I’ve read writers do. I’m not really sure what “real writers” do any way. I know a few on Facebook who actually reply to me (and like my status on occasion!) so I suppose I could ask them.

But this post is already boring, right? You don’t want to read me jabbering away! I don’t either!

I think this must be an issue with some of my writing (other junior writers listen up!). I write a lot of my own thoughts in my writing. According to Donald Maas (who politely declined to be my agent) the best part of the fiction is you. You are the best thing you can put into your fiction. Now, this doesn’t mean making your character like pistachio pudding (YUM!) because you do. No, it means that your point of view is the most unique thing about you. A good writer makes that point of view accessible to a wider audience. Pretty cool power, hu? Imagine being such a good communicator that 50% of people who read you nod and say, “Ah, yeah, I get it.” Oh, to have such power! That power is your voice. Or your words. Whichever.

Sometimes finding your voice is hard though. I literally didn’t have mine figured out until last year. I just turned 25 and thank goodness I figured that out! I thought I knew it when I was 17. I was positive I knew my voice when I was 21. But it wasn’t until I moved to Ohio and was literally writing every day (no, literally) that I found my voice. I had to practice, use other people’s words, make them my own, and then realize I was ditching them because I liked my ideas better.

imagine how much better a writer I would be today if I had practiced every day from when I was 17? I feel like my stories (which get revisions unlike these blog posts) would be masterful. I’d be head maven of the order of the bards! Well, okay not really. I look at my rejections as a challenge now. No, I don’t have it all figured out and did cry a little when I got another one the other day. But you know what? It takes about 50+ rejections to make me stop writing and only one to get you in. That’s the reality I had to remember when sighing sadly at all those rejections. I can take a million of those. But one in (with an agent or publisher) and that is a far greater step forward than one rejection will ever be. But I think it’s my voice still.

A friend of mine read a short story that I was particularly proud of. He liked some of the characters, said the story was good, wanted more of the fantasy element I was creating, but said that my main character’s moral filter was bothersome, condescending, and mine. Yes, he said that every time my POVC made a judgment call, it was mine coming through. If this had been the first time it happened with a story, I may have let it go. But people have been saying I have bad writing because I have a POVC who wants to cut his ties from his druggy friend who treats him like dirt. Now, I cannot make excuses for failings in my writing, but this “goodness” in my POVC was his flaw too. He was almost sunk and sucked into a downward spiral that would ruin his life because he could not cut off this friend and live his own life. But he had to make the decision to be a badass, ditch the jerk, and start anew. To me, that was a nice moment and a good character development section. And yes. They were my morals (I’m not a fan of drugs since some friends of mine were hospitalized by a high driver who walked free) but this story was not about that. It was about my poor POVC growing a spine and leaving someone who was toxic and manipulative.

Aaaaaand, I have no time to write about projects. But that’s okay.

Junior writers, my fellows, don’t sacrifice yourself in your writing to please the masses. You will always, ALWAYS, piss someone off. “Utopia” by Thomas Moore pisses me off. But I love that book. It’s my favorite thing to get into a heated discussion over. Read things that piss you off. Read things that challenge you (in a good, healthy way). Read things that will make you stare off into the distance thinking about. Don’t read to be stroked and told what a good, smart person you are. You already know you’re awesome. Reading is for brave people who want to be challenge.