OK, being a full time writer is not always the healthiest of professions. Think about it; writers sit for long periods of time often hunched over their computer screens, we often miss meals or resort to fast snacks (in my case, this is popcorn,) we cut ourselves off from the “normal” world, talk to voices in our heads, consume large amounts of caffeine and should we discuss chocolate and wine? Basically, being a writer isn’t great for your health. Thanks to so many hours in front of my Mac, I was in reading glasses before I turned 30. But sometimes the best thing you can do for your manuscript is to take a break and when you take that break hit the gym! Check out these simple steps to creating writing magic while working out.
1. Be sure to review your most recent scenes or outlines. Have your story be at the front of your mind. When you are on that treadmill or whatever machine, think of your story. I often find that the combination of thinking of my story while getting my blood flowing creates story magic. Scenes are fixed and come together beautifully in my mind.
2. Listen to music. I always workout to theatrical musical scores. If I’m hearing words then I’ll focus on them rather than my own story, which needs my focus.
3. Allow yourself enough time to workout. I’ve found that the “story magic” I refer to is unlikely to occur if you feel rushed.
4. After your workout cool down by writing down anything and everything that came to mind about your story. Just like recording dreams, if you skip this step, you’ll probably forget the very element that can help you achieve story magic.
Just yesterday I was on my elliptical when the climatic scene of my middle grade novel played out in my mind. I think it’s a combination of blood flow and just getting away from the computer that makes a workout break the most productive thing a writer can do. It works for me!
How do you set the stage for “story magic?”