Not writing on a rocky shore.
Or rocky writing that is the despair of editors, or drives you to a vat of Rocky Road ice cream.
I’m thinking about my favorite Rocky. This guy.
I’m thinking of him a lot these days because I’ve stepped up my training. I’m now running three days a week and lifting weights three days a week and taking a ginormous nap on the seventh day. I’m hoping to squeeze in a couple half marathons this fall. When I get back from the book tour, the Big Countdown begins: I’m going to try to run in the 2011 Marine Corps Marathon.
What does this have to do with writing?
Our bodies were designed to move. A lot. They were not designed to sit in a chair for hours on end, particularly if the chair is a short trip from the refrigerator.
Many, many, many writers run. I am one of them. I am probably the slowest one, an accomplishment of which I am incredibly proud. (The race is not always to the swift you know.) My running feeds my writing which feeds my running which feeds…. you get the point.
If running does not sound like fun, you can swim or bike. Or walk. Dickens did. It sure worked for him. Exercise improves your ability to think clearly, learn, and remember, it combats stress, lessens depression. It won’t write the books for you, but I think it makes the writing easier and more fun.
We’ll close with a montage of Rocky Balboa’s training from the first Rocky movie. (Every time I run in Philadelphia, I make a point of running up those steps.)
“I belong to the Muse and She belongs to me.” singer Abby Lincoln in a 1993 interview
Set… shut everything off and go for a walk or run. Then you can write.
Today’s prompt: We often think of what our characters are capable of doing, instead of figuring out what they cannot do. Brainstorm a physical limitation for your character. It could be as simple as not being able to stand on one leg, or a limitation that has tremendous impact on her life. Or it could be a temporary limitation that furthers the plot, like Bethany cutting her foot and needing to use crutches in Twisted. OR write about one of your limitations. When did it start? How does it play out in unseen ways? Will it ever change? Do you want it to?