Monday, February 27, 2012

Newton's First Law

An object in motion continues in motion, with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.  An object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an unbalanced forceSimply, if you’re moving, you’ll keep moving.  If you’re doing nothing, you’ll keep doing nothing until an unbalanced force makes you do otherwise.  And I'll be honest, the term unbalanced force scares me a little.
This law of motion isn’t just true for your weekly exercise regime.  Writers need to write.  Period.  Write a little every day or your scribe muscles will atrophy.
I learned this the hard way and so has my blog partner.  I might be able to get away with a day off, but that’s it.  If I take a week off, pardon my bluntness, I’m screwed.  It’s like trying to jog a few miles after a year of no running.  Writing a new story is NOT like riding a bike.  You can’t hop on the keyboard and expect it all to come back to you after days, weeks, months of absence.  It will feel like you’re typing through molasses, your brain a rusty pipe, shuddering and gurgling until finally some words come out … and trust me, they won’t be pretty.
After a couple of weeks away from writing, one of my next sentences went something like this:
She walked in and sat down.  It was cold outside and the chill followed her.  She longed for summer.  She longed for a time when these words didn’t suck.  Blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!
Plotting and copy editing don’t count as writing either, not for what I’m talking about.  Deep edits that require re-writes will get you through, but that’s the only concession I allow.  You can plot and edit all you need, but leave yourself time to write something.  A paragraph, some dialogue, or setting – it doesn’t matter what, but there’s power in getting your narrative exercise.  Even if you think what you wrote reeks like well water, you can fix it later.  It’s practice.  A writing workout. 
You think everyone looks like J.Lo in Jazzercise?  No.  But they’re doing it to stay in shape.  So should you.  Now get out there and exercise your words.


Elizabeth Michels said...

I do NOT look like J Lo when exercising right now. I admit it. I allowed life to bring my motion to a complete halt. Now, I'm fighting to speed back up. I think it's like a heavy freight train building up steam to leave the station...or is that just because I'm watching Thomas with the monkey? Anyway, I agree and I'll never step away from my writing again. Lesson learned. Write on!

Darcy Drake said...

I agree! When I step away from my writing, DOOM! Luckily I have friends now who will keep me straight no matter what. No more repeats of last summer.

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