Creative Conditioning

The moon and Venus last night, from our bedroom window, with the lights of Santa Fe below.

Not perfectly crisp, but close.

I’m feeling creaky today. On Sunday I engaged in a major weed-pulling effort. I reaped the reward of all the laziness I sowed the last few weekends, which means it took me a few hours. Of bending and pulling. Only a little sore in my muscles yesterday, I didn’t give it another thought.

Today I’m feeling it.

In college, I briefly dated a ballet dancer. Beautiful body, but unfortunately quite wooden in bed. At any rate, he told me that they’d learned that it takes a full night and day before you feel the physiological effects of something. So he’d feel a grueling dance workout, not the next morning, but the following one. Same for eating heavily or lightly. It’s an interesting tidbit of information, but it probably says something that that’s what I remember best about him…

Yesterday, my 1.85 K was more difficult than Sunday’s.

Sometimes I think writing can be like working out. On a given day, it’s not hard to stretch yourself and go the extra mile, do a bunch of yardwork, add some weight to the machine. You might not even really feel it the next morning. But after two days of it, I’m feeling a little tired in my brain. It doesn’t make sense to me that I’d have only so much writing energy, but I keep running up against that.

It would probably make more sense to gradually add words, like I gradually increase the weight I lift or the distance I run. Mental conditioning, as it were. Or Creative Conditioning. An extra 50 words a day and soon I’m staying up all night writing Interview with the Vampire in less than a week.

(Though I’m fairly convinced cocaine was heavily involved in that particular effort.)

So, here I am, warming up, stretching my muscles. Bouncing up and down a little to juice up those ligaments.

It will feel good when I’m done.

7 Replies to “Creative Conditioning”

  1. 1) I'm assuming your ballet dancer is not amongst your followers?

    2) If it helps, I'm STILL impressed by your work ethic. I barely managed 300 words last night and it was like trying to wring water from a dry towel. And this was despite the fact that I have 3 scenes planned out to write. It didn't help at all that I was putting extra pressure on myself due to not working much this weekend (b/c of sleeping off a cold), and knowing that time was going to be extremely limited today and tomorrow. Counterintuitively, telling myself I suck b/c I didn't accomplish the 2.5k that I wanted wasn't as helpful as it seemed it might be at the time.

    3) Does it help to have a definite time that you have to stop b/c you're writing in the morning?

  2. LOL, Elizabeth
    1) I don't think so! We fell out of contact ages and ages ago.
    2) Thanks – it's a good reminder for me that putting words down isn't a simple thing for anyone, really. And yes, telling yourself you suck never works.
    3) It does help me to have a definite time I have to stop – it creates a little deadline pressure that forces me to focus on the writing and not dork around!

  3. This has made an impression on me and I am going to start tracking my progress to see if I can see a trend here. I will keep you posted, because lets face it, you so care about me. 🙂

  4. I *do* care, Kelly! And I'll be interested in your results. I had to back off the 1.85K. I just couldn't sustain it. I wonder if I'd do better with a gradual increase? Now I'm back to making sure I get 1K in. Interestingly enough, that seems much easier now, so that's something.

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