Why bring up my workout routine in a blog about writing? Because, as I struggled to achieve a respectable workout today, I was presented with a physical example of what happens to those who stop writing. While involved in a routine, things come smooth. Words flow onto paper, our little muse whispering words of brilliance…okay that might be an exaggeration, but you get the point. Everything is happy. During this time, I begin pushing myself further, challenging my ability and growing, just like increasing weights or running speed. Things are great. Then life comes. It has some really awesome excuses. Things hinder my routine and soon I “take a break.” I dive into life and plow through without ever turning back to writing. Then, what used to be something craved turns into something that must be planned for. It’s time to schedule time to get back, it’s time to force myself to write…imagine making this statement about something I love, yet it is no less true then the gym.
Then I’m writing again and, just like the gym, things come slow and stifled. My muse is daydreaming and not speaking. I may have to snap its attention back a few times, urging inspiration to come to me. Even worse, those things I was pushing toward seem unreachable as I backslide in ability. I don’t know if many writers think of this, I never used to. I think, because the writing ability is relatively abstract, we forget that it needs to be nurtured just like a good workout. The older I get, the more this rings true to me. I would like to say that, after having a perfect physical example laid before me, I would promise never to stray from my writing routine ever again. But this would be foolish and a flat out lie. After all, life does create some very good excuses.