By Keith N Fisher
I was recently, given a second chance in my life. I got my old job back. I worked there for fifteen years and was gone for almost ten. Now I’m relearning skills and acquiring ne ones. It’s a sedentary job, however, and I’ve been too tired to keep up with exercise.
At the same time, I’m still working two days a week, in the occupation I’ve worked at for four years. That is a very physical job, lifting, cleaning, and just rushing around for eight hours.
After two weeks of this, to my chagrin, I learned what happens when you discontinue activity. The word is Atrophy. My muscles are growing weaker and exhaustion sets in. I know I must continue walking and lifting daily or I won’t have the strength to continue in the other job.
With that in mind, here are my words of writing advice: Don’t let your writing muscles atrophy. Writing, for me, has been going well lately. I have a pile of editing and submitting to do, but I opened one of my older projects the other day and went to town, so to speak. The plot holes I’d created filled in nicely, and I think this will be a best seller.
The book is historical fiction, with a strong moral at the end. And it’s epic in scope with a journey across the American Continent in the mid-nineteenth century. When I work on that manuscript during my lunch hour, I don’t want to quit. That, feeling is why I became a writer in the first place.
I’m hooked on the endorphins of being in the zone, but I could just as easily put it aside until my life gets going again. When I do that, It’s harder to write. The in the zone times grow farther apart, and my writing muscles atrophy.
So, my words of wisdom for today; keep going. You can only improve. When things click, and your skills kick in, you won’t ever want to do anything but write. With traditional publishing getting harder and harder, those in the zone times might be your reward for the effort. Don’t let your muscles atrophy.
Good luck with your writing—see you next week.