I’ve said this before: one of the biggest problems with being a writer, especially one with a Day Job, is that you’re sitting on your butt for long stretches of time. I’m really horrible at this, to be honest. I might get up and stretch now and again, but I don’t do it nearly enough. I’m sitting for most of eight hours, perhaps head to the gym a few times a week, and then sit for another few hours in the evening writing.
There’s also the fact that I’ve long had a bad habit of snacking whilst working and writing. I’d like to say I don’t have a Junk Food Stash anymore, but that’s not exactly true… it’s smaller, but it’s still junk food, and it’s in the kitchen. A few boxes of Pocky, an almost empty bag of chocolates we bought at the Heathrow duty-free. I’m trying to change that up; I’ll have a banana, or some cheese sticks, or hummus and crackers (Trader Joe’s sells a great snack pack of these that I love). I’m not drinking nearly as much soda as previous.
But it’s not enough. I’m not moving around as much to burn those calories. What I need to do is figure out some regimen that I can sneak in at some point during the day. A few reps of crunches and stretches. More walks after work. More frequent trips to the Y. I need to MOVE more is what I’m saying here.
So why the health kick all of a sudden? Well, short version is that I’ve found myself on a lifestyle-change kick right now. A need to change things both inside and out that I’ve either ignored or put off for far too long. It really doesn’t have much to do with my age, to be honest — I’m forty-seven and change — but to do with personal things; career, emotions, physical issues, and what not. I’m reasonably healthy if a bit overweight with slightly high blood pressure. I’m also thinking more seriously about my calling as a writer, and what I want — and need — to do with my craft as a professional. Among other things. I think about it this way: it’s not a midlife crisis so much as it’s a midlife clarity. Time to shed the bad habits and the lifestyle I no longer want or need and get movin’.
This does in fact tie in with my writing. Over the last few months, while working on the revision for In My Blue World as well as writing the Apartment Complex story — as well as a few smaller personal things I’ve been sneaking in when I can — I realized that my writing can’t truly evolve if I don’t evolve somehow. I’ve mined as much as I can from what I’ve been working with for years, and I want and need to change it up. The AC in particular has been helpful here; it’s the first story where I did not hold back for any reason, and the result so far has been eye-opening on many levels. I’m immensely proud of what I’ve done with it so far, and I can’t wait to share it.
So yes — this is me saying that I need to keep moving, both physically and mentally, if I’m going to get anywhere. I can’t be half-arsed about it anymore.