Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Slightly New Approach

Life has been, well, it's been too much like life lately. That's almost as great for a writer like me as it is terrible.

Life's woes create powerful emotions to draw from and pour into my craft. At the same time, those woes and emotions war with the will to write. That doesn't even allow for the hectic schedule I maintain.

I hear you thinking out there. "Yeah, yeah, yeah. Life stinks. So does mine. So does everyone's at some point. Get over yourself." And you know what? You're correct. If that's all this post was about, then it could be a wasted post. We're making our way to the writing inspiration in just a moment.

And, I'm not saying that life is completely terrible. For instance, as of this morning I've lost 32 pounds from the heaviest I weighed myself. Since, at some point  I stopped weighing myself because it became too depressing, I suspect I've lost even more than those 32.

I'll tell you how I did it, partly because I like talking about it, but mostly because it's a nice transition to the new writing approach.

I made a lifestyle change. I'm not dieting. I'm not doing crazy fad workouts or starvation plans. The doctor said I had to change my lifestyle or take blood pressure medication, and I didn't want to go on medicine for that.

Two changes. That's it. I started eating right, and started exercising right. (It would have been just as accurate to leave off the second "right" in the previous sentence.)

Briefly, the eating changes include increasing my water intake; lowering my dairy intake; removing all wheat and most whole grains; sticking primarily to meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. I only drink water, almond milk, green tea and the occasional milk. I've increased my (good) fats and protein by a wide margin.

As far as the exercise go, I alternate days. The on days includes HIIT, heavy weights usually performed in a circuit and laps in the swimming pool. In the off days I only swim.

Beyond all the built in health benefits (which I've ghost-blogged about with some success over at Blogmutt.com) of these choices, there are two reasons they have worked for me.

Persistence and consistency. I don't miss a day exercising. Eventually I will, and that's okay, the body needs rest. But, you'll find me back at it the next day. Same goes for eating. I allow myself treats from time to time, but even then I try to choose healthier alternatives to my previous habits.

My muscle gains and fat loss were dramatically fast. At first. I continue to see the same changes, although it's more gradual.

Gradual is good.

Light-bulb.

I reached the point in writing where I was writing in spurts, or not at all. More often than not, it was "not at all."

But, as I posted earlier, writing is a lot like going to the gym. In this instance, steady progress that is consistent will lead to results. My new approach is simple. Work on writing every day. I used to hold myself to amounts of time, or a certain amount of words. That worked for me, but only when I could maintain the incredibly busy pace of my life.

Now, I'm not going to let a day go by without working at the craft. Sometimes the words are going to flow super quickly, like the first ten pounds or so that I lost. Sometimes they'll trickle, but the progress will be gradual.

If I make progress in a day, then it's a good day. Just before this blog, I nailed down a 500 word outline to a new story. I'm not usually much of an outliner, but this story required it. I have little in the way of actual prose (just a few lines of dialogue) but you know what I do have? Progress.

Oh, and I also have all those fantastically powerful emotions I started this blog with. They'll come in handy as I continue to write.