UPDATE: You can sign up officially for The Healthy Writers Club by going here! That way we can all find each other.
As writers, we hear a lot about the "butt in chair" tactic, which is great for our manuscripts, but not so great for the actual butt in the chair. So welcome to The Healthy Writers Club! Every Friday, I'll be posting about how healthy I've been that week, and I invite you to join me! Of course, that means you need to get out and do something healthy. :) Basically, if you're game, you can run, walk, bike, make a healthy dinner, play tag with your kids, etc. Then, you post about it on Friday (or whenever you want). You can even use this handy-dandy button to link back here.
The thing is, I can't run three miles a week forever, not if I'm planning on running a 5K in November and a half-marathon by March. So I looked up a bunch of training schedules, and I have a plan that bumps me up gradual running distances each week so I can reach my goals.
I thought about this in terms of writing today.
We all want to write. And hopefully, we all want to keep writing better, to push ourselves farther. There's no exact schedule for this like my half-marathon training, but some of the rules are the same.
Don't push yourself too fast. This week, for example, one of my runs was a mile and a half, and next week two of them are. As I train, I have to be careful not to exceed about 20% of my current distance during a single week, because that can lead to injury.
With our writing, while it's good to work toward more words a day, deeper plots, more complicated characters, better prose, etc., we can't do all that at once. If we try, we'll end up burning out and getting discouraged. With each story, we can apply some of what we learned from the last one to make the next one better. But it's okay if we don't write the perfect book for our next one!
Allow time for rest. I don't run every day. If I did, I might get hurt. Now, I DO write almost every day, because I love it. However, I never write on Sundays, and I don't get after myself if there's a day during the week where I'd like to watch a movie with my family.
Have fun! Running is fun for me-- even though it hurts. Same thing with writing. Pushing myself to do better can be hard. It's hard to hear what my critique group says sometimes, and it's hard to pick a new story idea when I know it's going to involve deeper characterizations than I've ever done. But it's fun! I love writing! I love pushing myself to do better and work harder.
And now, my stats for the week:
Stats: Ran 3.5 miles
In-flight entertainment favorite: Writing Excuses episode 6.30: Help! I can't end my book!
Coolest moment: Adding a half mile to my run and completing the whole thing
Hardest moment: Adding a half mile to my run and completing the whole thing