Write of Way #6 – Work Out so You can Dork Out
Tired of the same old you?
Tired of being out of shape and out of luck with the opposite sex?
Tired of being overweight and under-attractive?
I’m White Goodman, owner, operator, and founder of Globo Gym Ameri— hold up. Those are the opening lines from the sports comedy classic Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story!
Sorry about that, sometimes I…
…am convinced I’m actually Ben Stiller …have trouble differentiating between reality and fiction …let jokes run on for the appropriate length
…let jokes run on far too long.
Putting classic Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller sports comedies aside, this week’s topic is working out and writing.
It might seem an odd concept, so let me preface it with everything I’m about to discuss assumes you’re writing at home and not in public spaces.
To be perfectly clear: please don’t be that guy who randomly breaks into a set of pushups at Starbucks. You’re better than that. No one wants to be Starbucks-pushups guy.
So, working out and writing. At first glance, the two don’t seem to go together.
I implore you to look again.
There are a number of studies on the relationship between physical activity and creativity. But forget the studies, just look at your fellow writers.
How often have y’all seen a writer talk about taking a walk to jumpstart their creativity? Or what about those (myself included) who post about drawing inspiration from hiking in nature?
Well, while nature is inspiring, there’s also some science going on here.
I’m sure someone could explain it better than I, but put simply: calisthenics spur creativity.
Hmm, no, that’s not catchy enough.
Movement makes magic?
Work out so you can dork out?
Okay, these are getting out of hand.
What I’m trying to say is, there’s a positive correlation between physical activity and increased creativity.
I like to practice what I preach and this is definitely one of those times. Thanks to my trusty weight set (purchased on the cheap from Play It Again Sports) I frequently workout while writing.
Every few hundred words, or about every half hour while writing, I like to pause for a moment to do a quick workout routine.
It’s nothing much, and the entire thing takes about five minutes tops.
Of course, I implore you to customize your workout to your liking, but my routine consists of:
20 dumbbell bicep curls (per arm, one arm at a time)
10 pushups (using the dumbbells as pushup bars)
10 standing dumbbell flys
30 crunches (with a ten pound weight held over your head)
25 bench press reps
By repeating this every forty-five minutes throughout my writing session, I find it spurs my creativity, keeps my blood pumping, and the ever-increasing fatigue makes me excited to flop back into my chair and write.
It’s also important to note that I never do this routine on back to back days. Writing every day is great, but even a casual workout routine like this requires rest days in between.
Now, I’m not saying if you follow this routine you’re going to turn into Arnold Schwarzenegger, but I am saying we can turn that Frankenstein you see in the mirror every morning into a Fraken-fine!
Wait, damnit, I’m quoting Ben Stiller from Dodgeball again!
To sum it all up: working out and writing may seem strange bedfellows, but I encourage you to give them a chance.
Who knows, they might just provide the kick start your creativity needs!
As always, I love to hear your thoughts. Have you tried working out while writing? What about taking walks to spur your imagination? How has it worked for you? Do you do something different to encourage your creativity?