I mean it. Get off your butt-literally. No, this isn’t some kind of blog meant to get you motivated to do more in your work. This blog is dedicated to getting you to move out from in front of whatever screen you are watching (computer, TV, phone) and move.
We spend a great deal of time in front of something that entertains us. Far too much time. In the writing game it is all you do. We spend our day in front of the computer screen then move on to the television or phone or if, we are lucky, an actual book. None of which requires much in the way of physical activity.
We are humans. This means we need physical activity to be healthy. To let our minds rest while our bodies work. A good thing if you work in a field requiring creativity. I have said it many times before, let go. Get up and do something which requires you to let your mind go. Turn it off and sweat a little.
That’s right, I said sweat. The experts say we need thirty minutes a day of physical activity to be healthy. I call bulls*%t. What you need is enough physical activity to make you sweat. Make you breathe heard. Make you so tired you sleep well.
The human body builds up a tolerance to hard work like it does to anything. Which is a good thing for us. If we get winded by taking a half hour walk, then later the same walk gets easier. Bravo! You are getting into better physical shape which will ultimately make your writing work better. Your editing game better. Any game or work you are doing.
It’s a fact. Do something physically exhausting and your mind will do so much better. Your creativity will soar. Your writing block will disappear. So, get up off your butt and go to it. Do something which makes sweat drip off you. Then do it some more. Do it until you can’t do it anymore. Then sleep. A good full night’s sleep. Nothing makes a person sleep better than hard work. Hard, physical labor.
I am a big fan of using physical labor to set your mind right. I have used it my entire life. True, I have worked in fields which require hard labor. Require work so hard you have trouble lifting your arms at the end of the day.
If you do something so physically hard you can barely walk afterwards; your mind quietly works in the background answering questions you couldn’t find the answers to earlier. I have known too many writers who couldn’t find the right path for an article or book who shoved it all aside and went on a good hard walk or a swim or went to work in their garden in the noon day sun. Who put it out of their minds as they worked. Only, the mind doesn’t let things go. It must find an answer once set into motion.
Answers which often come after a good night’s sleep brought on by sheer exhaustion. Note, I said exhaustion. It doesn’t work if all you do is put in a token effort. Unfortunately, most of us who work behind a computer screen often only put in the smallest amount of physical activity. Our idea of physical work is getting up and nuking a hot pocket. Or taking out the trash. Whew, trash can make you so sweaty you have to take a shower afterwards.
I can speak only for myself. If I put in a token effort, my mind doesn’t get the chance to do its own thing undisturbed. It stays in the forefront. The mind needs rest as well as our bodies. But in this day and age, getting up and going to the bathroom is considered an acceptable activity as part of our physical fitness plan.
It’s really simple. Get off your butt. Put everything down and work so hard physically you’re breathing out of your mouth and sweat drips into your eyes. I don’t care how you do it. Go to the gym. Take a walk which takes you to places you have never been. Walk until you can’t go any further. Start a garden. Dig up your front yard. Do something. Anything which leaves you exhausted. Then take a great shower and enjoy the first good night’s sleep you have had in a while. Let your body rest as your mind goes to work undisturbed.
In the morning you will find yourself filled with ideas. Ideas you will act upon because your body is in sync with your mind. When the body gets used to moving, it will continue to move. It will act on the things your mind suggests. You will find yourself in front of your computer pounding out ten thousand words or writing up a series of articles you know you can sell to someone.
The biggest mistake with those of us who work from a chair is we stop working physically. A huge mistake. We need physical activity as humans. Need it more as creatives since the mind rests while the body works.
As writers and authors, we need our mind to work on what we are trying to get into our stories. Tie those pieces together to make the reader want to turn that page. So, get off your butt.
Don’t believe it? Excellent. Prove me wrong then. I dare you. I double dare you.
I’m Ross, the Editor-in-Chief at The Pyrateheart Press and I’m out.