Random Inspirations

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Writing Fitness: 4 Easy Ways to Flex Your Creative Muscles Today

on April 14, 2014

I am a huge advocate of physical fitness. I adore yoga, cardio, and targeted weight-lifting and toning exercises. I also love being outside and doing “active” activities like biking, swimming, and shooting hoops. And of course, I live to dance crazily, and have a penchant for randomly launching into gymnastics on the beach.

It’s a known fact that being physically fit not only allows your body to perform optimally, decreasing the risk of common health problems (hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and hypercholesterolemia being only a few), it also makes you feel better. There’s even a scientific basis behind it. (Hello, feel-good endorphins!)

Your body is not the only thing you need to keep fit, however. If you’re a writer questing after ever-evolving creativity and awesome story craft, you also need to keep your mind fit, and the only way you can do that is by exercising it.

Writing fitness is as important as physical fitness! Image courtesy of gimnasia

Writing fitness is as important as physical fitness! Image courtesy of gimnasia

With that in mind, I have compiled a handful of tips to enhance your writing fitness. Our writing muscles will atrophy if we don’t use them, after all!

  1. Warm up your writing muscles  – Just as we wouldn’t exercise without stretching first, we shouldn’t launch into a full-on writing session without warming up first. Warming up can take a variety of forms. It can involve working on your blog, or taking a time out for journaling. You can even write a short story using a story prompt. Once you warm up, you will find that the main event of your writing session (i.e. working on your novel, etc) will flow more easily and smoothly.
  2. Read a lot – Many times, I learn new exercises from reading the blogs of fitness experts. Then, I just can’t wait to try them out at the gym or even at home. You can apply the same concept to your writing. Learn new literary techniques from reading the works of great writers of the past and present. If there’s some part of the creative process that’s perplexing you, read a how-to book. Reading gives us fascinating new ideas, opening doors for our own creativity.
  3. Fight boredom – One of the worst enemies of an exercise routine is boredom. Not only does it decrease your motivation to work out, the benefit to your muscle groups actually diminishes if you get stuck in a rut. That’s why it’s so important to shake up your fitness routine and evolve constantly. The same concept applies to your writing. If you do the same routine in the same location day in, day out, your creativity will be drained over time. Instead, work from various locations and split your writing day up differently throughout the week, incorporating other activities (ex. reading, playing a musical instrument, working out) into your day. Keep yourself stimulated, and the new ideas will flow.
  4. Keep it colorful – How psyched are you to go to the gym when you have a brand-new, brightly colored workout ensemble? I don’t know about you, but in my case, the answer is very. Psych yourself out to write by keeping it colorful! I’m not telling you to paint your office in neon colors (although hey, whatever works), but I am saying you should make your writing life figuratively colorful, if not literally. This means embracing new experiences, different cultures, and unusual locales. Even new writing equipment (i.e journal, pens, or computer) can make you feel more colorful–and enable you to infuse color into your writing!
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