In high school and even in real life we categorize people as either athletic or not athletic. This categorization is usually the result of your physical form or your abilities to play a sport. Personally, the only sport I ever enjoyed playing was volleyball and I wasn’t that great at it. Must admit, I had a killer serve!
So that would leave the rest of us as the non-athletics and more into the brain sciences like writing, math, science, art etc. Obviously, I am using generalizations to illustrate a point here, I know of lots of very athletic people who are mentally brilliant.
Being put in either category athlete or non-athlete comes with some standards. Typically, athletes have problems sitting still for more than ten minutes at a time, while non-athletes can binge-watch five hours of Stranger Things without lifting a muscle (except for the occasional drink or snack). Athletes are constantly hungry and or eating – non-athletes will get so lost in whatever project they are working on and forget to eat until 1 am and then scarf down bowl of cereal just to say they have eaten something.
My point being, both scenarios are misconceptions and absolutely wrong. Writers are just as much athletes as actual athletes and here’s why. The word athlete means - a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina.
Professional athletes, while getting paid way too much to play a game – in my humble opinion—work hard to be in top physical form and thus perform at their peak at all times. This means a strict regiment of diet, exercise, vitamins, and sleep. Many will even tell you it is the worst part of the job. However, they realize they need to fuel their bodies to fuel their activity.
So do writers! You require mental strength – discipline, skin of steel, and focus. Mental agility – the ability to keep track of plots, sub plot, characters and flow. Mental stamina – the need to be able to juggle lots of ideas and put them in a cohesive form and / or write when the rest of the world is binge watching TV or sleeping. All of this, not to mention everyday life. Most of us are not full-time writers, we have jobs, families, PTA, volunteering, night school etc.
So like athletes we need to keep our brains and bodies is top form to enable us to do the impossible – write 100,000 words, edit, rewrite, publish, &market.
As I said above, like athletes we need to make sure we are treating our bodies and fueling our minds as much as a physical athlete would. Which means, eating right, taking our vitamins, getting some regular exercise and scheduling time to sleep. We also need to make time for some much-needed fun! Relaxation and appreciate for where we are, what we have accomplished, and all the blessings our lives have to offer.
Being a writer, published or not is hard freaking work! Ignore people who think it is easy, a hobby or even a pastime. “Oh, you are a writer, that is a cake job.” BULLSHIT! It is mentally and physically difficult and you need to acknowledge – I HAVE a DIFFICULT job!
So, take care of yourself. Your brain and your body. Like it or not -- one is directly linked to the other and being conscious of this fact will put you ahead of the game! You are Writing Warriors and deserve to always be at your best to produce fight the good fight! This will also help with warding off negativity, stress and anxiety. A balanced life is a good life.
Could I have put more cliché’s in the post --- probably, but you get the point!
So how do you do it all? We will talk about that soon. For now, go take a walk and eat some vegetables for goodness sake!!
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