Words, Weights, Whatever

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

*Rou-tine's back, tonight!*

Many writers and authors (I make a distinction) state, when asked about their writing habits, they've developed a routine on when and where they work I had such a routine. Unfortunately, it worked while between jobs.

I know; it's up to me to find the time to write. I find time to work out, right? (Which, with most folks, is up there with seeing the dentist.) As I finished writing the previous line, excuses immediately clamoured in my brain:

You're too busy prepping the house for remodeling! You can't: you're in the middle of assembling your taxes! Your car needs an oil change! Your friends are expecting you at the Magic Kingdom this weekend! You need to spend more time with your spouse!

Well, you know what I say to those excuses?

"You're right."

Years ago I learned that, while it's okay to vent, it's useless to get action done. I'm already looking ahead this week for spots in my timetable to carve out writing time. R.'s on-call again (unfortunately) for the entire weekend which gives me a sizeable chuck to start finding that time.

But more importantly is that I need to be writing regularly. I'm not one of those writers who write 20-40 pages in huge time blocks then take the rest of the year off. I tried such techniques in the past and, while they generated pages, I find myself exhausted from the effort and (i.e., NaNoWriMo) and--importantly--unwilling to continue*. An hour here, a few hours there, though, steadily, is an entirely different matter.

Author Holly Lisle once likened writing to a marathon versus giving birth and I agree. A book won't be "born" from my brow like Athena from Zeus. Rather, like Hephaestus, I need to sculpt, bit by bit, day by day, the story that's bursting within.

Damned Muse.

(Image found on the Internet and all rights belong to its owners.)

*This parallel what I've seen and experienced when I first joined the gym. I would be enthusiastic ("gung-ho") for a few months, then vanish from the gym for the rest of the year. Or two.

R. exclaimed surprise when I said I'd be hitting the gym again last night. "Hey," I said, shrugging. "You have your (anime) cells and articles; I have my workouts."

Enjoyment plays a big role in motivating me to go to the gym. The music, the camaraderie, the chance to (mentally) tune out the world except for the instructor, act like a drug** that keeps dragging back. Runner's high is real and it can be addictive.
Why should I go to the gym when I hate being there? Years ago I read an article in a fitness mag. In the article, the author stated that much of one's enjoyment (or lack) of working out is mental. He pointed out that children don't view the monkey bars as work but something to play with, a toy that--as a side effect--gets them in great shape. I took that view point to heart. Several years later, after my mom's heart attack and consequently my desire to get healthy, I thought about his words. I looked at the schedule of workout classes and picked my favorite and never looked back since. Though occasionally I'd try other forms of cardiovascular exercise, step aerobics has been the sure tug to pack up those shorts, sneaks, and tank top.
Everyone has their own reason they attend the gym. Is any better than another? Personally, I don't care as long as one's going to the gym. But I rather be grimacing from pleasure and pain to Donna Summer's "Oh, love to love you, baby" than the sight of a stationary bicycle.

**I could say the sight of hot, barely clothed sweaty bodies as well, but I'm not that rude or crass. Besides, you trying gawking when performing a reverse turn step to Spear's "Oops, I did it again".
At full speed.

My friends called last night after my workout and notified me they would not be at our normal meeting place but instead at our regular restaurant. I joined them after a quickie soak at the gym.

I have regularly met GC and CS on Tuesday nights for some time now. (Years?) CS usually brings snacks which I gobble voraciously since I just finished a session at the gym. This is especially true if I do a two hour workout. We then discuss what we did over the weekend. GC and CS do a lot together: visit the Magic Kingdom, see plays, movies, clubs, etc. I have been invited many times but, unfortunately, those times are packed as well. They nodded with a grin and regale me with their next outing.

We established an informal reading group last year. We select a book to read in a month, then discuss it the first Tuesday of the next month. It's a fun activity which I've discussed at length in previous posts. CS and I have closer taste in our books; GC tends towards more literary works while we read more genre. But we all have interesting opinions and viewpoints to contribute.

We discuss other topics as well with one exception. For the many years I've know these guys, I've never gotten any deep insight into their personal loves and hates. I'm not talking about their relationships; I know that. We don't go into depth about our religions (if any), deep discussions on finance, or what we find annoying about each other (as we've seen several other folks in our circle do about others.) We all like to give ziggers in our conversations: how a particular public figure would look in a tutu; the latest boytoys of MILFs, or what's really on that actor's mind as he stares at his same-sex co-star.

Sometimes I feel sad when I think about my regular Tuesday buddies. But we have, on at least a couple of occasions, discussed why certain long-time friends broke up over misunderstandings.
And GS and I constantly read about friendships stretched horribly or broken over blogs.

So I relax back and enjoy the teasing about my Tuesday pie (inside joke). Or when GS deviates from his normal meal and orders water. Or CS and his huge families' latest visit of the month. (GS and I come from small families.)

There's a time and place for high drama. And then there's the friends to share them with....


  • What is the distinction between author and writer? Curious ...

    By Blogger TECH, at 7:07 AM  

  • We don't always have to discuss books or movies when we get together. It just seems to be what we gravitate toward. Or cars. Or scantily clad bodies in magazines, etc. See? There's a lot we can talk about! :-)

    By the way, nice pic!!

    By Blogger Greg, at 9:00 AM  

  • on writing: i feel that i have to be ready whenever the urge hits me. i bring along a pen and pad with me...

    By Blogger no milk, at 10:19 AM  

  • on writing: i feel that i have to be ready whenever the urge hits me. i bring along a pen and pad with me...

    By Blogger no milk, at 10:19 AM  

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