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Fit & Fabulous Writing

By Kathy Harris

Did you charge out of the starting blocks with the first three chapters of a great new story idea… but now you’re having trouble crossing the finish line? Does your first draft sag in the middle? Maybe your plot needs a bit of firming up.

You might benefit from a new writing routine.

Fitness coaches tell us that-if we want to tone and build our muscles-we should vary our workouts. So why shouldn’t we do the same for our writing muscles?

Here are a few suggestions:

If you’re a morning writer, try reworking your to-do list and squeeze in time to write at lunch. Or maybe you’re a night owl who has been pushing the limits of your late night energy. Go to bed early for a week, and set your alarm clock early. There may be a morning writer in you just waiting to be awakened. I would never have believed this was true for me until I tried it!

Physical cardio can be accomplished in three ten-minute sessions a day. Our writing can be accomplished in short bursts as well. Use downtime, when sitting at the doctor’s office or in traffic, to brainstorm a plot point. Always keep a pen and paper or Smartphone handy to jot notes, journal, or flesh out characters while people-watching at the mall or waiting to pick your child up at school.

There’s a time and a place for a “marathon.” But running one every day isn’t practical-or even healthy. Take a break from writing now and then to read, study the craft, or give back by mentoring another writer or reviewing the work of someone in your critique group or your crit partner. It will strengthen you as a writer.

So will soliciting help from a freelance editor or writing coach-the writer’s equivalent of a personal trainer-who can push you beyond your expectations. On her blog, Writing Coach Tiffany Coulter encourages her clients to ‘reach for the impossible, while still setting realistic goals.’

Set a writing pace that’s comfortable for you and vary it occasionally to fight fatigue. Even sprint once in a while and feel the burn.

Now, breathe deeply. Relax. And remember why you started writing in the first place…because you love it.


Kathy Harris is an author by way of a “divine detour” into the Nashville entertainment industry. She blogs regularly at www.DivineDetour.com. Her debut novel, The Road to Mercy, will be released by Abingdon Press in September 2012.

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4 Responses to Fit & Fabulous Writing

  1. Linda Cox says:

    Well, Dear Friend, I know this ….. if YOU can become a morning writer, there’s hope for every other night owl out there! :) Thanks for the great reminder that our love of writing is what matters most. Hugs, Linda

  2. Kathy Harris says:

    Ain’t that the truth :)

  3. Beth K. Vogt says:

    Perfectly timed post, Kathy, as I’m having difficulty finding my writer’s pace these days!

  4. Kathy Harris says:

    Me too, Beth. I need to rethink my current writing schedule. In fact, I think it’s time for me to sprint with abandonment and not worry about style.