Writing Versus Working Out


I have a confession to make.

When I write, I do something odd. Actually it’s something I’m trying to integrate regularly. Because I sit so much, as we writers do, I realized my regular workout routine wasn’t gonna keep me in shape. So, I upped the ante and started setting a timer. When it goes off, I sprint up and down the stairs a few times and do 3-4 minutes of exercise of some kind.

At least that’s the plan.

The truth is, I often get so immersed in writing, I turn the timer off after the first or second  annoying little beep, and I forget to turn it on again. It’s the neatest thing, though. The more time I spend writing, the easier it is, and the better writer I become.

Well, duh you say, of course. Which brings me back to the point of this post.

Writing and working out are a lot alike…except I really do prefer writing over jogging or doing crunches or pushups—I really don’t like pushups—but I digress.

All authors have those areas we have to work on as writers.  Isn’t that true of our bodies? I was blessed with one of those lower halves that needs lots of attention or else it swells like waves during a hurricane.

Remember what it’s like the first day of a new workout? It’s hard and you have to concentrate on every little movement, unless you’re just jogging. In that case, you only have to remember two things when a cute guys runs by: suck in your gut, and close your mouth because you resemble a gasping salmon out of water. Oh, and hope your bummy isn’t jiggling.

Maybe you don’t, but I do. I hear you snickering.

Let’s continue, shall we?

Eventually, not only do you master the easy routine, until it becomes second nature, you advance to the more complicated exercises. You’re becoming stronger and toned as you’re body works more efficiently and looks fitter.

Hey, work with me here, folks. This is an analogy.

As writers, honing our craft comes from practice too.  We practice  until we don’t have to think where to put a comma, whether we are using passive voice or telling versus showing, or popping from one head to another making our readers dizzy; you know, all those things that as beginning writers we slaved over.  And when we don’t do them well, our dear readers want to smack us upside the head with the book—or digital reading device.

Okay, I can hear you saying some areas of our writing will always need extra attention.  You’re right. For instance, I tend to be overly descriptive which means I have to give that area of my craft a bit (maybe a lot) more focus—much like my thighs and tushy.  Sigh.

Personally, I like to exercise in the morning in the privacy of my home, though I will go jogging with my daughter on occasion, and I do love long walks.  I have very good reasons for working out at home. I’m a sweating, grunting, gasping mess when I exercise strenuously.  Not attractive. Rather frightening actually. Sorry, if that’s too much info.

I also do my best writing in the morning when I’m alone. You see, I talk to myself, make gestures, giggle at the oh-so-clever snippet of humor I’ve just written, and occasionally threaten my computer or the Internet. Maybe, more than occasionally. Those aren’t things I want other people observing me doing.

There is one big difference between writing and working out. Fine, there’s probably hundreds, but for the purpose of this post, I’m concentrating one.

I will devote hours to writing (and reading); every free moment is enthusiastically spent in front of my computer tapping away, or snuggled with a book. That’s never going to be the case when it comes to working out. I do what I have to do to stay in reasonable shape. Just imagine how fit I’d be if I spent as much time exercising as I do writing and reading.

So am I the only one who does this weird thing, or are there others out there that exercise while they write or read?


ColletteCollette Cameron, a Pacific Northwest native, was born and raised in a small town along the northern OregonCollette Cameron coast, which to this day, continues to remain one of her favorite retreats. If you’ve ever lived near the ocean, you understand the irresistible, captivating draw of the sea! An enthusiast of times gone by, Collette currently writes Regency historical romance.

A lifelong resident of small towns, she’s also been known to venture to parts of Europe. Her favorite destinations? England and France of course! There she can indulge her passion for exploring opulent manors and centuries old castles, in addition to scrutinizing anything even remotely related to the Georgian, Regency or Victorian eras!

Her Victorian farmhouse and profusion of gardens—English, butterfly, rock, and water— are all testaments to her ongoing love affair with flowers, lace, songbirds, birdhouses, rocks, and of course—teacups! Having dabbled in interior decorating in her youth, Collette graduated summa cum laude from Oregon State University, has a Master’s degree in teaching, and is member of RWA, Rose City Romance Writers, The Beau Monde and Love Faith and Hope, Inc.

Some of Collette’s favorite things include unique blends of coffees and teas, Cadbury Milk Chocolates, inspirational quotes, and scented candles; especially lavender and vanilla. Her Christian faith, husband, three adult children, and five miniature dachshunds complete her life quite nicely!

When she’s not teaching or writing, Collette enjoys amateur photography, bird watching, gardening, interior decorating, rock-hunting, or salmon fishing on the Columbia River.


13 thoughts on “Writing Versus Working Out”

  1. 😛 I do as well, but nothing too serious. I usually put on some dance tunes and do some dance/aerobics moves that I’ve learned from Tracy Anderson’s cardio/dance dvd. Sounds silly, eh? But I’m okay with it. I usually do the moves in the basement where my family can’t see me. LOL

  2. LOL If I spent as much time exercising as I did in front of the computer I’d have the body of a Sports Illustrated Model. But it isn’t happening. It’s hard to get motivated after a full day’s work and then family obligations and the writing. I can’t get up that early to exercise. Great post

  3. I exercise in the morning, and on weekends. If I don’t, it doesn’t get done. Once I start writing I can’t stop until I’m done. I envy people who can do writing sprints. If I get off task it’s all over.

    Great post. I tweeted and shared on FB.

  4. Exercise, what’s that? My body has forgotten the meaning. Oh, my fingers do plenty of jumping around the keyboard, but the rest of me needs a kick in the you-know-what to get with the program.

    Your analogy is excellent, Collette, even if I don’t follow your example.

  5. I can’t figure out how to respond to individual comments so I’ll do a group one. Like Ella, my main workout is in the morning, and often I don’s stop like I intend too.

    It’s hard to squeeze the time in, especially when working.

    I bet we all have strong fingers though!

  6. Oh, I definitely talk to the computer (not to myself–of course not LOL). As far as working out, well, goodness knows I need to develop some kind of schedule. Loved the post 🙂

  7. I write first and then workout. That’s the plan anyway. Sometimes I write until it’s time to go to work and the workout never happens. I know exercise is necessary for physical health, but writing is necessary for mental health—and it’s a lot more fun. Maybe I’ll try to the timer, it is a good idea.

  8. What a delightful blog. Thanks, Cameron.I’ve been excericizing since dinosaurs roamed the earth and now as an author of nine books in four years, I still walk daily and do a half hour of floor exercise stretches nightly. Discipline. At 82, there’s no time for green bananas, kids.
    I love the discreet delicious cover. Better than the traditional boring six pack in jeans and too much skin. And best of all, I got to meet you.

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