Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Writing Workout - Redux

Debra shares a post on a writing workout.

I am literally running out the door to a fitness class, so I'm posting an old post previously used as part of my promotion tour for This Can't Be Love. Four years later, the same principals still apply. The original was posted at Rites of Romance in 2010.

The Writing Workout

I’ve been taking a great workout class for the past couple of months. It’s called Yogaloties and is basically a combination of Yoga and Pilates. The workout is great for toning and strengthening, and I leave each session relaxed, having left behind the cares of the day.

This got me to thinking. Sitting down to write on any given day is a lot like my Yogaloties workout.

In class, we start with some warm up breathing and stretches. This gets the body ready for the workout and focuses the mind on what’s ahead. In writing I always start with a warm up as well. I “visit” what I’ve written previously. Not to make any hard and fast edits or changes, but to re-familiarize myself with my current WIP. It helps me “get in the mood” and ready myself to dig into the core of the work.

The main portion of the workout is dedicated to Pilates. It’s the meat of the workout. This is where all the hard work is done. This is where I’m going to sweat. After reviewing a page or two of my manuscript, the time comes to move the story forward. Dig deep into the plot and get into my characters’ heads. Create natural dialogue, sizzling sexual tension, or seemingly impossible conflicts for them to overcome. On good days the words flow easily and I make a lot of progress, on other days it’s like the ab portion of my workout: painful, but with a well worth it end result.
The cool down comes at the end of the session. More breathing and relaxation poses. When I feel I’ve written all that I can for the day, I go back and re-read a portion (or all) of what I’ve written. Again, this isn’t the time for major edits, although I may tweak a few things here and there. Rather it’s a time to look back and give myself a pat on the back for what I’ve accomplished.
In both cases, it’s nice to walk away (either from my Yoga mat or from my computer) feeling satisfied with my efforts. It’s so gratifying to feel and see the results of those efforts over time: more energy, skinny jeans that fit in all the right places, or holding my latest book in my hand. These days, the jeans are fitting well, and last week two big boxes were waiting on my doorstep when I got home from work. My latest release, This Can’t Be Love, had arrived! I can’t ask for much more than that.


Until next time,

Happy Reading!



  1. Interesting post, Debra. I should exercise more during the winter. I do get plenty of exercise in the summer. I guess I like to get my fitness as I work.

  2. Excellent analogy, Debra. I can't exercise much because of my arthritis - swimming is about the only exercise I can do, but at least my brain gets plenty of exercise, especially in the 'Pilates' part of writing!

  3. Jen, It is easier to get more exercise in the summer...more chances to just be out and about. In the winter I have to be more purposeful about it.

    Paula, swimming is great exercise! As for my brain, some days it feels like it's getting more of a workout than others.