As I jogged on the treadmill yesterday, it occurred to me that writing and losing weight are activities with certain similarities.
First, both tolerate few distractions and require family support. For example, when my husband brings home bakery boxes filled with goodies, it’s all over, just like when the kids come in the office and interrupt my train of thought while I’m writing. The deed cannot be undone.
Second, writing and losing weight take significant effort. Writing means hours chained to the desk until fingers cramp and legs don’t straighten and a nap is required. Losing weight means exercising and after fifty minutes on the treadmill plus a half hour of yoga and strength training, my muscles are exhausted and the couch calls. Then there are the mental demands.
Third, once begun, writing and weight loss are addictive. Characters demand attention at all hours of the day and night, and I’m absolutely driven to finish the story. Similarly, I now crave getting on the treadmill—and I’ve never like to jog before. It seems both exercise and writing fire endorphins.
Finally, “sticking to it” delivers the desired results: the feeling of accomplishing something worthwhile, either finishing a book or losing a few inches around the waist.
Of course, some days all the effort in the world doesn’t pay off: the weight clings, food calls, and/or the words are elusive, creating frustration and dissatisfaction. That’s what makes writing and weight loss so challenging.
I don’t know how many copies of my debut novel have sold, but I do know I’ve lost ten pounds since January. It’s too bad authors don’t receive monthly sales reports. Positive results can be very motivating.
So do you see any similarities between weight loss and writing, or am I just lightheaded from exercising and eating less?