It’s often said that a writer is a stationary object.
After all, Hemingway said that it was easy to write. Just sit in front of a typewriter and bleed.
Hunker down. Have a seat. Park your butt. Grab a computer chair (well, now we call them computer chairs… back in the day of Hemingway it was still just a chair) and have a seat. But, either way, remain seated in front of, then a typewriter, and now a computer. We don’t move a whole lot. We’re sedentary creatures by force. Chained to our desks and handcuffed to a keyboard. Which makes adding physical activity a little bit difficult and why a good number of us are a little… er… heavier than perhaps we should be.
This is why I decided to break that unfortunate reality. I won’t lie. I’m not exactly small. At this present moment I top the scales at a very generous 268lbs. I know why—and it’s a hard truth. I don’t move around enough and like food a bit too much. Not enough of one and too much of the other. Not exactly the makings of a fit person. Quite the opposite, really.
Now, I know a few of you are probably in the same boat as me. We’re writers. Of course, we are. Doesn’t mean it has to be.
So, let me tell you something else about me. I wasn’t always 268lbs. I was, in fact, 310lbs less than a year ago. I could walk around but the thought of going too far from my nice, comfortable, computer chair and away from my computer was difficult to fathom. Why should I want to? I had an income that paid enough. Food may not have been plentiful, but it was decent and there. Delivered to my door, even. But it didn’t mean it was healthy.
And why should we care?
Well, let me tell you what I noticed. I was in a rut. I had a case of Writer’s Block the size of Toronto. I couldn’t think, couldn’t write, couldn’t create. Life became a rut of take a contract, drop a contract because I just couldn’t get the words to flow. The money stopped flowing and I had to take work elsewhere. Unfortunately, elsewhere meant work in semi-skilled labour as the job market wasn’t great and there weren’t any openings in the field of Office Management. Semi-skilled labour meant moving around. All day. Every day. In steel toe boots. It meant climbing up and down a ladder with brake rotors in my arms.
I dropped twenty pounds in the first few months alone. Not that hard to believe considering I was walking at least 12,000 steps a day and it wasn’t just walking. Car batteries and brake rotors aren’t light. A funny thing happened, though, as my diet improved—the closest place to eat (**I’m not a great cook, which is why I eat out so much) was McDonald’s and I wasn’t a fan of their burgers so I instead ate their salads…. And I’m not a big fan of the Caesar Salad either so it meant the chef salad with a vinaigrette. Imagine, if you will, a diet consisting of salads, water (because it was free) and running around in steel toe boots throwing around car batteries and brake rotors. Pant sizes dropped. I felt better when I looked in the mirror… especially when the scale went to a number beginning with a two instead of a three.
And then it happened.
I went home after work, physically exhausted but the brain was still churning. I cranked out two thousand words in less than three hours and then just stared at the computer screen. Where did that come from? How? Why? What was so different now compared to then?
Two words: Diet and exercise.
It stands to reason, though. Everyone out there is all about balancing life with the three major points—mind, body, and spirit. Without one, the others starve. And I was starving my body with what it needed to function which then starved the mind and spirit. Small wonder I couldn’t write. With that lesson learned, and a mind sharper than it had been in months, I went back to college and bought a gym membership.
Now I have a better job (and it pays better too!) and my writing is actually coming together.
Did I mention I went from 310lbs to 268lbs in eight months?
Kristan Cannon lives in Sudbury, Ontario (Canada) and works as a Fraud Analyst by day and writes books and paints landscapes and starry skies by night. She has has written four novels with a fifth novel expected to hit shelves in late 2020, as well as a mystery series slated for release by Christmas 2020. Find out more at: