Novel Spaces is in its 10th year! Over the coming months we'll be featuring some of the most popular posts from our archives. This one was first published July 22, 2016.
By Amy Reade
This week a trifecta of events led me to an unwelcome realization. Ordinarily self-knowledge is a good thing, but not so much in this case.
First, I made an appointment for a physical. You know what that means- I’m going to have to step on the scales. A grim prospect, at best.
Second, the coup attempt in Turkey following closely on the heels of the horrific attack in Nice, France, mesmerized the world, including me.
And third, my Fitbit has been remarkably silent over the past seven days. No buzzing to let me know I’ve hit 10,000 steps, no notification on my phone to congratulate me for achieving some kind of milestone.
There, I said it.
I am a writer, so much (read: all) of my time is spent at my desk or at a table in the kitchen or at the library, tapping away on the keys of a computer. I don’t get nearly as much exercise as I should.
I need to get moving, and not just because it’s good for my physical health (I’m sure you’ve heard the oft-repeated phrase “sitting is the new smoking”). It’s also essential for my mental health. I need to exercise more often in order to get my mind out of my work-in-progress, out of all the bad news permeating the airwaves, and out of the endless lists of marketing assignments I’ve given myself.
I know it works (it’s not as if I never move). I always feel refreshed and ready to get back to work after I walk my dog or go for a bike ride. I just need to do it more often. I need to make exercise a conscious part of my daily routine, and lately my physical movement has been sadly lacking.
So I have an idea. I was brainstorming topics for this post, my first for Novel Spaces, and I hit on something I think might work. I know I’m not alone- there are lots of people, and many writers included, who don’t get enough exercise.
My idea is to start a Facebook group where we share our exercise goals and encourage and inspire each other to get moving by posting what we do for exercise and how long we spend doing it. I’m in a closed Facebook group called “What’s for Dinner?” in which members post photos of the meals they cook each night at dinnertime. It’s a fun group and I would love to participate in an exercise group that operates the same way. Anything you do in motion counts as exercise- weeding the garden, walking the dog, biking, swimming, playing with your kids. Anything.
I’ll even start by telling you my first goal: I want to have more energy and more focus when I write and when I’m marketing. I believe physical exercise is going to help me achieve that.
You’ve heard of writers who sprint? That’s when writers get together in person or virtually or on the phone or in any other way and write together for a specified period of time. In terms of actual sprinting, I only run if I’m being chased (please note, the photo above was taken two years ago). But if anyone is interested in setting up a time to exercise together virtually, I’m up for that, too.
Of course, exercise is more fun when there are built-in rewards, so I want us to share our rewards with each other, too. You want to reward yourself every time you exercise? Cool. Want to reward yourself once a week? Great. After every five workouts? That’s fine, too. The rewards are up to each member and can be anything- dark chocolate is my personal favorite.
If you’re interested in joining the group, mention it in the comments below. I’ll create the group (I’m thinking of calling it “The Write Way to Exercise”) and add you to the list of members.
So what do you say? Are you in?