Saturday, November 11, 2006

Getting My Butt Out of the Chair

By Keith Fisher

In all the seminars I attend on the subject of writing, there’s one thing they have in common. Writers will always say, you have to get your butt into the chair. It’s a quaint way of saying don’t procrastinate or waste time, just do it.

Today I want to turn that saying around to make a point. It’s a point I’ve made before, but I’m going to elaborate.

In my day job, I spend eight hours a day glued to a computer. I don’t move anything but my head and my hands for hours on end. I often don’t take breaks because I’m trying to finish a job. Then I come home, take care of family needs and glue myself to my chair to write.

My daughter told me there is a name for people like me; she called me a numb-butt. It’s the modern equivalent to the couch potato. I never thought of myself in those terms because what I do is exercising my mind. I don’t sit on a couch being entertained.

But you know . . . She may be right. How many times have I had to stretch out the kinks after spending too long in the chair? I don’t think I’m alone either. I think that the American couch potato is being replaced by numb-butts. Those who spend hours working in front of a computer then drop into bed late each night, exhausted because they have stretched their mind to the limit.

In my schedule, which should be called the best-laid plans of mice and men. I have carved out time for my writing. I also penciled in time for gardening, exercise, daddy/daughter dates, husband/wife dates, work time, and church time. Often I get so caught up in writing that when my scheduled time comes, I’ve already been writing for hours.

Those of you who know me well, know I can use all the exercise I can get so, I need to tell myself to get my butt out of the chair. What good will it do to get my books published if I can’t enjoy book signings and other activities? I don’t want to be published posthumously.

So I resolved to do it! To stop procrastinating and make sure I get out of my chair and get moving. I’ll still do the writing; I’m going to do my research while I’m out of the chair. I plan to carry a CD player and listen to books on CD. Maybe I can give my dad a run for his money on the number of books he’s read. I talked about that in another blog too. If your characters are dragging you in, and chaining you to a chair, maybe you should make a resolution too.

1 comment:

Tristi Pinkston said...

You'll find, too, that when you spend productive time out of the chair, it makes your "in chair" time that much more efficient.

-- from a fellow numb-bummer