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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Apathy and Inertia

I only have a few minutes before I need to leave for my water aerobics class so I really don’t have time to write this post. And I stayed up late reading a thriller/mystery by Lars Kepler, “The Hypnotist” so I don’t feel like writing or exercising. Maybe I should just go nap.

But before I give up on any productive activity today, or go back to reading the mystery, which is what I really want to do, I will mention another book, this one a friend lent to me, “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott.

Lamott’s a writer and a writing teacher who recounts some amusing anecdotes as well as giving tips for writing. Her main suggestion is a lot like what most other good writing instructors say, “Apply bottom to chair and sit there until you write something.”

I usually don’t have too much trouble stringing words together once I sit in front of the computer. The words may not be all that amazing. But I can run them along and then go back. The right brain is for stringing the thoughts together. The left brain can go back and edit them later. But the rest of the body doesn’t always want to cooperate and perform the hardest task, which  is just what Annie says, make yourself sit down and get started.

Exercise is a lot like that. I try to go to a water aerobics class three times a week. I love the exercise; I love the water; and I love the instructors and the people in the class. But some days I have a really hard time getting myself to the point of actually going to the gym and getting in the pool.

So, like my mental excuses for why I can’t exercise, I also have been concocting excuses for not writing lately. I think it has to do with a well-known physics principle: bodies at rest tend to stay at rest.

I’m going to now go and see if I can overcome that principle and put this body in motion. I hope to be able to do that more often with my writing too. See you in the pool or on the blog.

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