“When I’ve neglected my health, I’ve struggled to pull energetic stories out of a lethargic mind.” Orson Scott Card, How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy
Here is my problem: most of the things I enjoy doing involve sitting down, preferably on a comfortable couch. I love reading, drinking coffee, chatting, writing, watching movies, playing guitar, etc. I don’t love training for a triathlon. Well, I guess I don’t love that. I’ve never done it. I’ve never even thought about it, in fact. But the fact that I am an avid “sitter-downer” means that I’m getting out of shape, and being out of shape is not only bad for your body, it’s bad for your brain. According to an article that appeared last year in the New York Times, “exercise appears to build a brain that resists physical shrinkage and enhance cognitive flexibility. Exercise, the latest neuroscience suggests, does more to bolster thinking than thinking does.”
There’s no doubt about it; sitting down is actually making more exhausted, and is making it harder to think. So I’m making a commitment to mental fitness: I’m going to exercise every day. Thirty minutes. Thomas Jefferson said that “a strong body makes the mind strong” and proclaimed walking to be “the best possible exercise.” Friedrich Nietzsche claimed that “all truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” Emily Dickinson used to go for long walks with her dog, and look at how smart she was!
Writers, join me! It’s summer, the weather is nice, it’s time to move! Let’s see if our writing improves after a month of motion.