Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Writing Lessons from Bootcamp

A few posts back I told y’all about enrolling in Bootcamp Workout classes to research my work-in-progress.

At the time, I figured dropping a few pounds would be the only added benefit of those hellish workouts.

I didn’t expect running outdoors at dawn in 19-degree temps only to come inside and face a barrage of push-ups, sit-ups and weights would also teach me a few lessons about living the writer’s life.

Here’s what I learned:

Gather your gear the night before. Not being a morning kinda gal, I pulled my workout clothes from the closet at night. It made it easier to get myself into gear when the alarm went off at 4:45 am. Now I place everything I need to get going (Alphasmart, notebook, index cards) on the kitchen table before heading to bed. If I’m planning to write in Starbucks or the library, I throw my stuff in a tote and hang it on the door.

You’re not in competition with anyone. I won’t lie. It was kinda demoralizing being the oldest and most out of shape in class. My stronger, fitter, younger classmates left me in the dust. The first days, pride made me damn near kill myself trying to catch them. Then our instructor told me to slow down and instead focus on my breathing and setting my own pace. In other words, focus on your body (writing career) – not anyone else’s.

It’s coooold. I’m sooooore. I’m gonna throw-up. The number one rule of Bootcamp – absolutely no whining. If I can run, sprint, do jumping-jacks sit-ups, push-ups without a single complaint, then I push through a difficult scene without bitching.

So those are the bonus lessons I got from my heroine’s bootcamp experience. Fortunately, my delving into my hero involves chocolate!


Katrina said...

I am soooooo night a morning person so my hats off to you for getting out of bed in the first place. (That's the hardest part for us night owls.)
I like the part where you said, "You're not in competition with anyone else." I do at times look at my fellow authors careers and feel my fingers turn green with envy. But you're so right, what I'm doing with my writing has nothing to do with anyone else and I need to go at my own space.
Great reminder of that.
Great post!

Ladysilver said...

I too am not a morning person. I am so together when I do things the night before. When I don't I leave my lunch, don't wear what I planned to wear, run late. Good rules to live by.

Kristi said...

I am a morning person but that doesn't sound fun to me!
Good for you researching for your book that way! You are in inspiration!

Liane Spicer said...

Great advice!

I too am a night owl and I'm trying to get in the habit of getting my stuff together the night before to cut back on morning stress.

4:45 am? Murder!

Don said...

I know you are super proud of yourself.

. The first days, pride made me damn near kill myself trying to catch them. I love this.

ChelleC said...

That boot camp sounds like a good experience. It probably wasn't "fun" in the conventional sense, but it really taught you some impt lessons that we can all learn from. I do the same thing with laying my stuff out ahead of time.