I never really liked going to the gym. Too many sweaty dudes scamming on make-up caked ladies. Too little actual working out.
But I’m not afraid to sweat, and I didn’t mind the concept. A place where you can go, free of distractions, designed and built for one purpose: self improvement.
We live (and write) in a place so exploding with distractions that is amazing we get anything done. If I had a clock that counted the hours I’ve wasted after being sucked into the soulless void of the internet, I would be terrified to look upon it and despair. With so much great existing content, so many other good writers adding new content, and so many beers to drink, it is a wonder we find type time to sleep, never mind write.
This is where my blog becomes my gym. I come here to write for the very sake of writing. To test new techniques, try new genres, fail at being funny. I write lots and lots of other things on the side, in hopes that someday my writing will be good enough that someone will pay me for this drek. It’s a gym for my mind and my fingers, a place where I can keep my writing muscles toned and sexy.
I’m not running a marathon here, I’m just on the treadmill.
We all need to train. Our minds, like our bodies, like our creative bits, need to be used to grow. The one piece of writing advice that seems to resonate across the entire universe of the craft is that to get better at writing, one must write. And write a lot. Write until fingernails are rimmed with blood and eyeballs sear from LCD burns, until your mind no longer recognizes gibberish from rhetoric and your loved ones fear for your sanity.
This is how you will improve. Lots of sets, lots of reps. Reading is good too, but it doesn’t work the core.
If you’re feeling like you can’t get past that frozen wall of writer’s block, maybe you’re just out of shape. Maybe you’re trying to lift a bar loaded up with 350 lbs when your current max weight is closer to 150. Maybe you just aren’t ready for that burly personal trainer carrying around the gallon jug of water yelling at you to “Push it” when you aren’t even really sure what you’re supposed to be pushing.
That’s OK. Lighten up your workout and train some more. You’ll find that after a while, your writing will be stronger. Cliches will crumble at your feet like decaying Roman ruins. Clever phrases will spring from your mind like a newly born Athena from Zeus’s throbbing skull. You will be able to write better, for longer, and most importantly, it will be easier.
You will get better, but you have to train. You have to sweat.
Go hit the gym. I’ll see you out there.