Monday, May 19, 2014

The crossfit writing regimen

My days are punctuated by the deafening music, floor breaking thuds, and adrenaline fueled yops from the crossfit gym next door. Every morning and evening the members do several laps around the block. I assumed that it was their warm up but I'm not sure anymore.

Lately a few of the members have added extra equipment to their run and I'm not talking about hand weights. They're dragging hundred pound weights -- the kind you usually see on a barbell -- or large duffle bags filled with dark matter for all I know. I'm not a runner. Big boobs and crooked achilles tendons have guaranteed that I never will become one. However, if I were I wouldn't be crazy enough to carry a fifty pound duffle across my shoulders because sooner or later my face would meet the pavement.

I understand that it's the Super Saiyan training method. Since technology won't allow humans to train under 4X gravity they're using the tools available. It's logical but still baffles me. Why push so hard? A conventional workout is much safer.

After considering it for a while I realized that I do the same thing with my writing. Every time I try to meet an insanely close deadline or write from a POV outside my norm I pick up that bag of dark matter and heft it around the block. Yes, it's scary. Yes, I do often find my face meeting the pavement. But every time I try I make it a little further. It only takes one fall to remember that a certain spot has uneven pavement.

The story I'm writing now is a new genre for me, and a new kind of POV. However it's also a story that a year ago I wouldn't have been able to tackle. Then it would have been too far outside my abilities to even consider and the story would have lacked because of it. I know it's scared a few of my beta readers when I told them what I'm attempting with this story.

Now I agree that it's probably not the most conventional way to strengthen my creative muscles but it seems to work for me. I'm up to the point where I can take the duffle bag around the next corner and discover what obstacles and challenges await. I may still fall flat on my face and earn a few new scars but I can live with that. Scars are cool.

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