Push Yourself

I’ve worked out three nights in a row, which is crazy for me.  Two of those nights I managed to push myself harder than normal and not even realize it until I sat down in the car to drive home.

(Yes, this is a writing post.  Just be patient.)

The working out is not in response to a resolution for 2013.  I have writing goals and personal plans, but I don’t make resolutions.  Instead, it just happens to coincide with the beginning of the year.  I joined a gym before the holidays and try to work out there a couple of times a week, and I got ice skates for Christmas and of course I want to use them.  Tada!  Exercise.

So what’s the story with three days and pushing myself?  I went to the gym on Sunday (because I was bored) and tonight (because I signed up for a training class) and I skated on Monday (for no reason, I just wanted to skate).  Skating is deceptive, apparently, and I wore myself out without realizing it.  Tonight I watched Big Bang Theory while I used the elliptical after the training session, and the humor distracted me.  I won’t be working out tomorrow night (I have other plans) and I might or might not make it to the gym on Thursday, but that’s not the point.  The point is that I pushed myself, and I’m happy about it.

Let’s talk about this in relation to writing.  (See!  I told you to be patient.)  Yes, you (like me) may already have a writing habit in place.  Perhaps you journal every day, or post a blog, or even just have scheduled “writing time” on the weekend.  A routine and habit are en excellent place to start, and keep you working.  But every once in a while it does your creativity good to push yourself.

Look back at my reasons for working out, and extrapolate them.

1. I was bored, so I went to the gym.  The next time you’re bored or have nothing to do, make yourself work on character development, or story, or even get out your computer/tablet/paper and actually write for a while.

2.   I signed up for a class.  I am not the right person to expound on the virtues of taking a writing class, as I have never taken one. (At least I haven’t taken a creative writing class.  Interpretive writing, yes.  Thesis writing, yes.  Creative writing, not so much.)  I can tell you, though, that taking a class is sure to at least give you an assignment or two that are outside of your comfort zone.

3. I just wanted to skate.  When the mood hits you to write, take advantage of it!  It doesn’t matter if it’s outside of your usual time or even if the subject is not your usual style or the story you’re currently pursuing.  Writing more is always better, no matter what, and harnessing the creative energy when it hits helps it to flow more often.

Push yourself, at the gym or at writing, and you’ll probably be happy with the results.  Even if it does make you exhausted at first!