"authors are asked to describe their typical writing day in detail from start to finish"
After I sent Rob the final draft I had a chance to read through the days of countless other authors. It was intriguing to find such a spectrum of approaches and experiences; hardly any were similar. From college delinquents to stay-at-home Dads to depressed poets to caffeine-fueled super-Moms, each writer had a distinctly different story to tell.
Thanks again to Rob for curating this collaborative effort within the writing community and best wishes to each writer who so generously shared their story on My (Small Press) Writing Day. Find out about my writing day, and so many others, here.
Joshua talks writing, myths, and living a creative life with the good folks at Tree District Books. Listen in on the conversation here.
I read the ‘house-rules’, the most memorable being this one:
While waiting for my first training session I read the ‘house-rules’, the most memorable being this one: You are allowed to cry, throw up, or pass out at any point in time; just don’t be a baby about it. In the first workout I nearly did throw up. I came close to passing out. And the the thought of coming back a day later might not have made me cry but did cause me to seriously consider my life choices. But I came back. Now two years later, I regularly do three morning crossfit classes a week as I continue to make slow and steady progress towards heavier weights and more advanced movements.
I started crossfit as a way of getting in shape but now it shapes the way I write.
Here are a few lessons I carry with me on my writing journey that I picked up, sweaty and out of breath, from the floor of a crossfit gym.
-Progress is hard. As a writer that is easy to type and difficult to practice.
-Being ‘in shape’ feels stiff, tired, and sore. If you think that writing is a cushy passtime then either you aren’t doing it right or you’re not doing it at all.
-Pacing is important. Most don’t even start writing, but most of those who do burn out before they get very far.
-Efficiency and technique will separate pros from amateurs. Many a story has bled to death on the prickly thorns of procrastination or was drowned by the weight of too many sloppy writing errors.
-Consistency beats out short bursts of energy. Real writers show up every day and grind out sentences whether they feel like it or not.
-Leave your pride at the door unless you want it to get badly bruised. If you are sharing your work then you’ve stepped into the ring and should be ready to take some punches from critics, from fans, and from fellow writers; hell, you might even need to throw a few yourself.
-Practice precedes excellence. Nobody becomes an expert on anything overnight; writing is no different.
-Strength comes in many forms. Comparing yourself to other writers is not a fruitful activity; identify the strengths in your own experiences and work to find a writing voice that is unique to you.
Nobody becomes an expert on anything overnight; writing is no different.
Crossfit is not for everyone. Nor is writing. But I think there is enough common ground between the two that writers can benefit from a ‘crossfit’ mindset. So get ready. Get set. Go.
For more on the common ground between writing and crossfit Joshua suggests that you try a intro class at your local crossfit gym as a ‘writing’ exercise.
Joshua Gillingham is a Canadian author from Nanaimo, BC. He writes Norse fantasy, Celtic songs, and non-fiction essays about writing craft.