Saturday, February 23, 2008

A top ten list by David B. Coe

I'm throwing up this list because Mr. Coe addresses an issue that not many writing advice articles hit on. He's describing a number of ways he runs his writing routine with pointers on ways he keeps himself motivated and letting the words flow.

Certain things are there that you'd expect, such as giving himself days off every now and then, or making sure that he retains a level of professionalism even at home.

But what else does he do? He makes an effort to eat healthy and exercise. Yup, you heard me. Writing has got to be one of the most, if not the most sedentary pursuit out there. Unless you're acting out fight scenes in your living room for reference, pretty much all writing involves sitting and staring at the screen. Plus, what do we tend to bring to the computer desk? Giant mugs of coffee, our favorite snacks, preferably pre-packaged and in a dozen different, cheesy flavors. Not the best of diets, so learning to switch out for some healthier snacks (think chopped veggies, fruit, water, etc.) can help keep energy levels more consistent, rather than fighting the droop and swoop of the caffeine and sugar buzz.

When I start exercising on a regular basis, there is a short dialogue between my brain and body that goes something like this:

Brain: Yes, that thing we just did? Could we do it again sometime? Perhaps a few times a week, at least?

Body: Exercising? But look at how tired and sweaty it got me.

Brain: I know, but think of the potential. You'll get so exhausted trying to get fit that at some point you'll have no strength left for anything but to drop in the computer chair and type, while I'll still be churning away up here from the increased bloodflow.

Body: You do realize I was doing it so I wouldn't feel guilty about eating that leftover piece of cake for breakfast.

Brain: If that's the lie you've got to tell yourself, then fine. But really, let's give it another go, what say...tomorrow?

Body: Does this mean I can eat more junk food for breakfast, so long as I put in a solid hour of running later?

Brain: How did I get stuck with you, anyways?


So don't forget that while writing involves forcing yourself to stay in one spot until the story is done, it can be just as important to stay active beyond the chair, whether at a gym, hiking, biking, swimming, martial arts, or however you want to do it. Both your body and your brain will thank you.

I see that smile.


At 2:37 PM, Blogger Vesper said...

Interesting link, Josh, and a good list he offers.
I especially like what he says in the end, "Even on its worst days, my job is better than anything else I could imagine doing." He's a lucky guy!

I wanted to thank you for your nice comment on my entry over at Jason's. I also like your story very much and left a comment there.

At 7:40 AM, Blogger Josh said...

Thank you for the kind words, Vesper. I enjoy the Clarity of Night contest not only for the challenge of the short fiction, but because Jason has quite a community built around the blog, and it's fun to see who one might connect to during the course of the contest and reading all the entries. Good luck!


Post a Comment

<< Home