Today I’m going to talk about one of the most important and least discussed issues in the journey to professional writer: exercise. You see, a lot of people, even those who spend all day working at a desk before taking the leap to writing full time don’t anticipate the problems of keeping their weight in reasonable parameters when you don’t actually have to get out of the house every day.
So people leave their jobs. Start working at home. Get up and go to the computer in their jammies or in my case, work right out of bed in a handy dandy netbook. You don’t even notice how much weight you’ve gained until for one reason or another you have to go somewhere and you delve deep into your closet of mostly forgotten ‘clothes it’s safe for other people to see you in’ you go to pull something on – and it doesn’t fit.
Maybe it’s just a little tight around the middle but you can still close the zipper. Maybe you’ve gotten so huge that you can’t even get into what used to fit like a glove before. Maybe it’s just a slight change, somehow the clothes are tighter, tight enough to be uncomfortable but you dismiss it thinking that the last time you washed them they must have shrunk. No they didn’t shrink!
The worst part of gaining too much weight when you’ve dived into the wonderful world of writing full time is wondering where the hell you’re going to get the time and money to replace your entire wardrobe. Oh you can go back to the comfy pajama’s and sweats you’ve been wearing that hid the expanding expanse of belly from you for so long and so well. Except that at some point you’re going to want to go out of the house and you don’t want to perpetuate the myth that writers are all slobs sitting in the dark typing away in sweats while they munch on fattening snacks and gain sickening amounts of weight – do you? Of course not.
Of course there’s also the health risks to think of, gaining a large amount of weight can lead to a lot of medical issues including heart problems and diabetes. Expensive health problems you might not be able to combat on the pittance from your first five novels.
Best to combat these potential financial horrors early on by putting a little money and time aside for exercise. Every damn day. No I’m not kidding. When you worked your day job you didn’t workout everyday, I can practically hear you screaming. When you worked a day job you probably got a good deal more exercise than you’re getting now just getting to and from work. Add in the probability that you’re eating more and more extravagantly (no more sandwiches from the local deli when you’ve got time to slow roast your own chicken for dinner) and it becomes that much more important that you realize and commit early on to a serious exercise schedule.
I know, it’s hard and you don’t wanna. Well suck it up. If you can seriously commit to writing a couple thousand words a day, to immersing yourself in all the aspects of writing, marketing and business maintenance that being a writer demands – you can certainly find a way to set aside a single hour every damn day to get up and work that ass off. I’ll even be nice and let you have Sunday off – if and only if you manage to work out for an hour every other day of the week.
In the long run it’ll be totally worth it. I promise. All that sweating will totally pay off in the number of by reducing the amount of medical problems you encounter as you step away from the security blanket of company paid health-care. Just think of it this way, when you do find your audience and they’re hanging on your every written word, desperately awaiting your next book – not a one of them will be able to point to your picture and despair that you’re likely to collapse of a heart attack before finishing your magnum opus 😉
Alright, now go out and get on your bicycle it’s a beautiful day outside and you could use the exercise!