Nov 7, 2012

IWSG - Can I Have A Fit Body & A Fit Mind?

It's time once again for Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group.

This time last year, I could be found at 5:00 am in the gym, attending a spinning class or lifting or running a few miles.  It really did a make a difference in my life. However, 9:00 pm would roll around and I'd fight sleep for a few more minutes, like I had been doing for the previous hour, and stumble off to bed.

This time last year, I'd sit down and crank out pages every other week before my CP's and I got together so I would have something to share.  Those pages always came back with lots of comments and questions about the direction of the story because it wasn't in my head often enough to have a chance to flow.

Now I know there was an ankle surgery that derailed the exercise, but I can't get up anymore.  And I really feel like my writing is so much better now.

Which has me wondering if I can be both fit and produce words.

I shifted my brain to write better at night for consistencies sake and I don't know if it's mental fatigue presenting itself in physical manners, but I'm so tired in the morning.

And the big problem in all of this is I have this day job that makes me have to hit the gym early because it is the only hour I could consistently go.

Can you manage both?  Have you found a way to keep the body and mind working at top performance?  

19 comments :

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Maybe change when you exercise? I hit the gym after work which drains the stress and gives me a second wind. Then I'm ready to write in the evening.

E. Arroyo said...

I've been on and off this wagon a lot. But I don't write everyday, so there's no real excuse for me. And I tend to read or think about my book when on the treadmill so I feel as if it's productive. I just have to stop thinking about it and do it. I'm not much help. =)

Julie Luek said...

It IS so much to balance. For me it's like the proverbial heart analogy-- you know, the heart has to pump blood to itself first before it can keep the rest of the body alive. That's how I feel about making my workouts an almost daily habit-- it helps me keep the rest alive and functioning. Easier said than done though, I realize.

Cassie Mae said...

Not the best person to answer this for you, lol. I sit on my butt and I like it, haha! But before I was prego, I did make goals to exercise. When my brain was stuck, it's amazing how a good walk around the block would unclog it ;)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I do my workouts mostly in the late afternoon or early evening when I get home from work. Then my writing is the last thing before bed. I cut back on writing time to increase excercise time and I feel so much better. Finding the balance is key.

Lisa Regan said...

Hah! I can't manage both! Ask the 15 extra pounds around my waist! It's such a struggle to find time to write AND to exercise. Although when I do get time to exercise I feel better (and I think about whatever book I'm working on the whole time!)

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I'm failing at doing both too. :(
I know it sounds like a lame excuse, but it's hard to find the time. I feel like I barely meet timelines and deadlines as is. But, I also know I would work more efficiently if I was in better shape.
Definitely an insecurity for me!

Writer Pat Newcombe said...

I soooo sympathise! I too have trouble doing both! The early morning is when I am best writing but it is also the only reasonable time I can exercise as it's so hot here later in the day. I try to do both but if I leave writing until later in the morning I have lost the bright brain spark!! I struggle on....

Jessie Humphries said...

I actually have a really hard time with this too! I feel like I can't do both well in the same day. And November is notorious weight gaining month, not just because of Thanksgiving, but because writing/revising is done whilst sitting on your butt! I don't know. I think I'll go for a bike ride with the kids later and get some fresh air.

Chemist Ken said...

Maybe you need to buy a treadmill that has a computer attached so you can write while you exercise?

It's hard to fit everything in, isn't it? My mind is most creative in the morning, but I have a hard time getting up early. (How did you ever get to the gym at 5am? Shudders.). My main time for writing comes at night, but then I'm sleepy enough my brain refuses to work sometimes.

You'll figure it out somehow.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Do you eat protein in the morning? I find if I don't, I'm ready for a nap at 9AM. Change takes time. Take baby steps and promise yourself that you come first. It might not hurt to take a multivitamin with iron in it.

I started off by eating protein for breakfast and then stopping to do 15-30 minutes of yoga in the late morning. I don't smoke, and I drink as much water as I can. If you don't work at home, doing yoga's not possible, but it just means that you have to find something that works for you in your schedule.

We eat so much preservatives that it's hard not to feel the effects. Part of that is fatigue. Take baby steps, Tasha. One moment at a time, and remember to put yourself first.

Brinda said...

Reading while walking on the treadmill has been a lifesaver for me. I feel sort of rewarded that way.

M. R. Buttars said...

I'm a looney whose characters never shut up. They intrude on walks with hubby, reading other books, and precious sleep. :P They started doing this when I gave them free reign and stopped trying to think and feel like a responsible adult all the time. Let your inner child fly free! Even when not writing, daydream.
I hope my exhausted ramblings help.

sydneyaaliyah said...

I am struggling to do both, too. I am so focused on writing right now that I used it as an excuse to not exercise. And I am doing nano so, I can eat junk if it will keep me awake and able to write. Vicious cycle. I am not much help here but to say your not the only one.

Krista McLaughlin said...

I'm having the same problem too. I usually exercise at night and I've been writing instead. It's hard to find a good balance for the both. At least NaNo is only once a year. :)

Catherine Noble said...

If you find out this miracle balance, do let me know! It's no coincidence that my writing productivity increased when I cancelled my gym membership... but I, like you, feel lethargic at times and I know some excersize could give me more energy and oomph... good luck! :)

Kim Van Sickler said...

Alternating your workouts so you do cardio some days and weights or strengthening inbetween, helps. If you're doing all intense cardio, it can poop you out. Also, drinking protein after a workout helps combat some of that fatigue. Long walks can also be very beneficial and shouldn't tire you out like an intense aerobics session. Good luck finding that balance! You want to be able to take a good cover photo for your books!

Candilynn Fite said...

I'm not one to give advice on this subject. I don't workout. I do yoga, but not on a strict schedule. I generally try to write morning / daytime and yoga in the evening. It seems to work.

I think if you set your mind to it, you can do anything.

Nicole said...

The key challenge for me is time. If everything goes according to plan with all the other things I'm juggling, I can usually fit in both writing and exercising (and it feels so great!)...but things rarely ever go according to plan. ;)