Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer's Support Group gives bloggers a monthly chance to express their concerns, worries, and insecurities without fear of reprisal. It's a seriously big group now, and with well over 300 participants, it shows no signs of slowing down! I'd like to thank Alex for keeping this group going for so long, as it has proved wonderful in the supporting of fellow authors and the revealing of needed and sound advice.
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I'm not sure what drove me inland (to a desert, no less), and while I have since found the love of my universe, scored a good job, (in the process of) raising a family, and entered the writing community here, I've missed the one method of exercise that actually works for me.
Pools are limited here. And pricey. Most are indoors. Lap swimming times are inconvenient and often too crowded to get a really deep endurance workout. I let these factors deter me, and I wasted away. Bad sleeping habits ensued. I gained more weight than I'd like. It's possible that depression was creeping into my life. That's when I decided, enough is enough. I can't compromise my health here.
Then a friend of mine told me about a study (which I'd link if I knew where to find it, so we'll be hypothetical from this point on), that "writing science fiction and fantasy uses the same areas of the brain that's required for us to play chess and other strategy-type games."
What in the what now? That kinda makes sense, doesn't it? I've always enjoyed strategy games. No one likes to play Risk because I always win (except that one time--I'll defeat you someday, niece!). Then I thought, why don't I put this brain of mine to good use?
To make a long story short, I invested in an (outdoor) pool pass, I rearranged my work schedule so I could swim in the afternoons (no one uses the lap lanes then), and three days in, I'm already feeling a difference. My steps are lighter. I'm breathing is deeper. I crave vegetable matter. My sleep is improving. And so is my writing.
The answer to our quandaries can't always be found externally. I think it's something already built into us. Since not every size fits all, it takes time to find (or re-find) what ultimately works for us. I am a writer of science fiction and fantasy, but that's no excuse to ignore my reality. I don't get to restart my days or hit the reset button.
We're smart. Why not have a strategy in life? Why not make use of the mistakes we make and learn from them? These questions have pulled me from several slumps lately. Answering them has led me to a joy long suppressed. But my answer may not be for you. Put on the thinking cap, my friends. We're smart. Our answers are out there.
Until next time, stay awesome. And play hard.
Also, do me a solid and check out Mark Noce's short story, Meet Me At The Waterfront, which was published here. It's a good one!
Do you think chess and strategy games can make us better writers? What type of exercise works for you? Are you part fish like me?
I'm David, and are you ready for the Edge of Tomorrow?