I find it amazing how many people I know that don’t have the time to work out. “I’m too tired.” “There’s just no time. I’m too busy!” “I have too many errands.” They have a lot of excuses. But it really doesn’t take that long to get in a good work out.
I know, because I work out every day. Sometimes it can be for 45 minutes, with cardio. Other times it will be a super-set session, where I combine a few exercises into one extended set. But no matter what, I get my work out in. One can get a good work out done in 15 minutes.
I thought about this, wondering if this principle applies to my writing. I was startled to realize that it did not. It should, though. If a writer asks me if I write, or do a ‘work out’ with words every day, I would reply no. And that person would be (like me about exercise) flummoxed. How is that possible? The writer may ask, “Don’t you have 15 minutes a day to put pen to paper?” “Well, um…yes, as a matter of fact, I do.”
It doesn’t even have to be for 15 minutes. Give yourself five minutes of writing time. Five minutes. That’s not asking a lot. And yet some days I go without writing a word. Zip. But that’s no different than the person who says he has no time to work out. I’ve been exercising every day for my entire life. I have not, though, been writing every day of my life.
I guess that is the difference—and the key. If I exercise my writing muscles every day, it will eventually become natural. And just like a workout has to change over time, so does my writing. It’s good to mix it up, to try something new, delve into something challenging. Or maybe just jot down a little gibberish. As long as I’m writing.
I can look in a magazine and make a mental note of a new exercise for my abs. Likewise, I can read about a certain technique that can propel my writing into different areas. Just as it’s important to maintain a healthy body, so is it necessary to maintain a healthy mind towards writing. Even if it’s only for five minutes.
So, on that note, “How much time do you spend writing?”