IWSG was created by the Captain Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh. To visit the IWSG participants, please click here.I haven't been a person who enjoys exercising. Sure, I was forced to take gym and actually did love playing soccer for nine years while in school, but otherwise, I've led a pretty sedentary lifestyle. But having been diagnosed with mild carpal tunnel, tendinitis, and chronic myofascial pain syndrome has made me realize if I didn't start moving now, I may not be able to move years down the road. This realization scared me. On May 24, 2015, I decided to start exercising, but I had to lay down some ground rules first.
1. Exercise is about movement, not weight loss.
Every time in the past I exercised to lose weight, I got frustrated when the pounds weren't melting off. For me, I can't focus on weight loss but being more active.
2. Start slow and ease myself into exercise.
In the past, I started out walking a mile or riding the stationary bike three miles. It was too much for me. I would get sick or injured. This time, I told myself I would start with 5-10 minutes of exercise a day and slowly increase it by month. I did 5-10 minutes through the end of June and then upped it to 10-15 minutes in July. August has me at 15-20 minutes. I've also been focusing mainly on strength and flexibility (yoga, tai chi, and light free weights) and am slowly adding cardio (a ballet conditioning DVD).
3. Have a reasonable top goal.
My top goal is to exercise at least thirty minutes every single day, which I should achieve in November.
There are days I don't want to exercise. Days I hurt and feel like my ankle or back will snap into two. Days I wish I was still in bed instead of getting up early to exercise. But I know the first day I don't exercise, I will quit. Knowing that has kept me going.
So what does that have to do with writing?
Well, I haven't written much or steadily for a LONG time. So I applied what I did for exercise to writing with a few ground rules.
1. Writing is about time length, not how many words I get.
Some days the words come easily. Others, not so much. So I decided not to set word count goals but how much time I spent writing. In July, it was 10-15 minutes on a main project and 5-7 on a secondary project. I upped it to 15-20 minutes main project and 7-10 minutes secondary project. I can write longer, but I have to write at least the minimum every day.
2. Stop writing when I want to keep writing.
Yeah, it sounds really counterproductive. But if I stop when I want to write more, then it'll make it easier to start writing the next day.
3. Have a reasonable top goal.
Ideally, I'd love to spend an hour on a main project and thirty minutes on a secondary project, but with my wrist, I don't know if I'll be able to maintain that much writing, so my reasonable top goal is thirty minutes a main project and fifteen with a secondary project. I should reach this goal by November too.
I don't believe you have to do things every day, of course, but I do believe a routine is very important. You just have to find what works for you and stick with it.
Do you have a writing routine?
Each month, T.B. Markinson plans to give away awesome books by wonderful authors and a $5 Amazon Gift Card. It’s her way of saying thank you to all her followers and fans. Some may wonder why she is giving books away that aren’t hers. The answer is simple: She loves to read and she loves to help fellow authors promote their books. The giveaway is easy to enter via Rafflecopter. At the end of the month, one winner will be selected randomly and will receive an e-book copy of all the books below plus a $5 Amazon Gift Card. Good luck! Here are the incredible books for August’s Giveaway. My novel Reborn is one of the awesome books in this month's giveaway!