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Baby Steps

Posted by HAKEN
Sunday, January 02, 2011 9:33 AM


I don't believe in making new year resolutions. I never keep them. I'm pretty sure many of my friends don't either. I've seen them fall off the resolution bandwagon year after year--we all do.

The number one resolution every year is to lose weight. I know this because it said so right on CNN's website yesterday. Isn't the internet great? I suspect losing weight is the one resolution you can say to someone that they'll forgive you for if you don't keep it. They couldn't do it, so why should you?

Getting in shape is difficult. We get all pumped up and work out at the gym for the fist couple of weeks and then on the third, reality hits and we find out that getting in shape requires actual hard work and not just a stroll in the park every afternoon.

We ache, we stink, and we come to the realization that there are infinitely many other things we can do that are more enjoyable--like eating out, getting our daily (hourly) Facebook fix, or watching the budding bromance of McGarrett and Danno on Hawaii Five-O.

That's right, all the things that are not conducive to our goal of losing weight and getting in shape.

"Okay, so what's your resolution?"
"Uh, lose weight?"
"Sorry, taken."
"Uh, 500 words a day?"
"LOL! Yeah, right."
"No, really!"

Writing and exercising is very similar. Both requires practice, hard work, and dedication. In the process you feel pain, you feel frustration, and you are tempted by every single thing in the world to not do it.

If anything, writing is worst. It's not like riding a bicycle. I'm finding that I can't just get on and go. Heck, I can't even find the bicycle. I knock on that creative door and my muse isn't home--probably went fishing off Molokai.

A sedentary person probably walks about 1,000 to 3,000 steps a day. A common goal for those willing to get in shape is to set a goal for 10,000 steps a day. You start with your best average and you add 500 steps a week until you reach 10,000.

We can do exactly that when writing to build up our creative muscles. I can write about 100 words a day and so I start with that as my average and add 10 or more words ever few days.

It's not as easy as it sounds. These words have to be good meaningful words. Great words. Words that you can inspire others with or words that you can use to incite a riot with. It's really up to the writer.

The point is they have to be words that are polished like gems. Otherwise, it's no different than eating junk food while you are exercising--it feels great that you did it, but ultimately goes nowhere.

As I have said, writing isn't like riding a bicycle. We can't just get up and go. We have to start with baby steps.

These are my wobbly first steps to the 10,000. Want to join me?

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