Saturday, June 05, 2010

Variety Brings Results

I work out for about an hour in the morning five days a week, but recently I haven't been seeing or feeling results. My youngest son, studying to be a personal trainer, told me I had to vary my workouts. You see, muscles grow complacent when you do the same old workout day after day and you hit a wall, where you stop seeing results.

He told me to vary the amount of weight I lift, vary my workouts--I now do weight training two days a week, ride my exercise bike two days and follow an aerobic dance DVD mid week. I also bought two new DVDs that, although they work the same body parts, vary in their routines, thus giving me results that will help me sculpt and keep the flab from coming back. He also told me to switch the workouts back and forth by day, or week, so I'm not doing the same workout consistently. This also keeps me from being bored and I look forward to my workout each morning.

It got me to thinking how I do the same thing with my writing. Although I started out writing American Civil War, I added in some paranormal and am now working on a few post-Civil War projects as well as my first science fiction romance. I also vary between long and short pieces, from novel length, to novella, to short story. Variety keeps my writing fresh and also keeps me motivated. I don't get blocked and if I do inevitably get stuck on a project, I move to another until I'm excited about the original project again.

I think variation in my writing keeps me fresh and motivated.

So, tell me, do you vary anything in your life, be it writing, exercise, or anything else that seems to be going stale? If you do, share it here.


Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Susan,
Hope this finds you well. I have to say I am a creature of habit and I hate changes to my routine. That must sound wierd to a lot of people I feel sure, but I have always been like this.


Susan Macatee said...

Hi, Margaret! Thanks for stopping by!
I basically am a creature of habit too, in like I workout the same time everyday, write in the same time period and really hate to change thinks around, and have things out of the ordinary happen. But when I change my workouts there's a definite pattern to it. The same with writing. When I'm working on a long ongoing project, like a novel, I work on it at the same time every day, but when I'm finished that first draft, I like to switch to something like a short story or novella in a different genre. It really refreshes me.

Ann Lethbridge said...

Great points to remember Susan. Thanks.

Susan Macatee said...

Thanks for stopping by, Ann!

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I seem to keep fairly the same routine - I don't even move furniture around. I am bad at the exercising because everytime I try something new, I ended up causing a problem and it takes months to recover. It's the arthritis for me and it can be so painful especially when I tried the bike. I think I will stay complacent and not hurt anymore.

As far as writing goes, once I start on a project I stick with it and don't move on until it is done. Even that way with each chapter and revising as I go. I know it isn't recommended but it is the way my brain works best.

I do sound like an old fuddy duddy, don't I!!!!

Cynthia Owens said...

Hi Susan, great post. I don't work out, but I like to get out for a walk as often as possible. Usually about half an hour per day, but I tend to very the route and terrain. Exactly the opposite of a friend of mine who runs the same route four times a week.

As for writing, I stick to historicals, but I've found I like a "change of scene" there, too. I started out writing about post-famine Ireland, then moved to Philadelphia and Baltimore for a third story (same time frame though.) Then it was on to New York, a fictitous island in the Atlantic, and now back to New York.

I'm thinking about a Victorian-era story set in Montreal, and another set in Galway, Ireland (a good excuse for a research trip!).

Susan Macatee said...

Hi, Paisley and Cynthia! I have a hard time sticking to one writing project, although I do spend at least a few hours a day on whatever my main project is at the time. After that, I can do a little work on other projects, promotion or other writing odds and ends. There's just not enough hours in the day to get to it all though. LOL.

But whatever works for you is best.

Joce Kennedy said...

Your protagonist hitting a tree and doing a time jump made me recall the year I flew my little VW bug of a 100 foot cliff and walked out to tell the tale. It started a 30 year memory loss and learning to start a new life. Talk about changing your lifestyle to something new. I had no memory of the life I had lived so had to invent myself. I developed a pattern of changing everthing just to see how it felt. The results weren't always appreciated by my family--who I didn't remember. Loved the begining of your story it brought back a few memories of how out of place I felt in my new existance. I use bits of those experiencves to spice up my characters in my stories.

Susan Macatee said...

What a story, Joce! Sometimes truth is much stranger than fiction. Glad you survived to tell the tale!