Writing and Exercise
Talking about the thing is not the thing. Doing the thing is the thing.
How do we move from talking about what we want to do, from scheming, toward actually doing it?
There are plenty of things I know I should do. For example, I know I should start working on my taxes as soon as I start receiving relevant documents like W2s. But I don’t. Come April, I’m usually stressed out and angry that I’m spending an entire weekend putting together my tax return.
Exercise also comes to mind. I know I should exercise, but I can conjure up all kinds of reasons not to do it:
- I’m tired.
- I don’t feel like getting sweaty.
- I can binge-watch something super cool on HBO Max instead.
- It’s too late in the evening and exercise gives me energy and I don’t want to be up all night.
Yet, one thing is always true about exercise: I feel better when I do it. When I get out of a spin class or home from a long walk, I never feel worse than I did before.
This simple reminder is often all I need:
Stephen, get on the bike. You’ll feel better when you’ve finished.
The same is true of writing. I can invent so many reasons not to practice my art, but one simple truth remains: I always feel better when I’ve done it.
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