Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Pace Yourself

My daughter told me that at school in P.E. she got to exercise using a heart rate monitor.

"You strap it on your arm, and then you jog just fast enough to keep your heart at a certain rate. Fast enough to speed up your heart, but not so fast that you get tired. The great thing was, when I stayed at the right pace, I felt like I could go on forever."

What a concept! The next morning when I went for my jog on the beach I tried slowing down just a little bit. I didn't have a heart rate monitor, but I could tell when my body was comfortable with my jogging pace.

I went farther than I ever have before. All the way along Laie Bay and back without stopping.

And I thought, "Hey, I should apply this to my writing!"

Too often, I get so excited about my writing that I don't pace myself. I skip my morning jog so that I can have an extra half hour at the keyboard. I feel like I don't have time to practice music, to watch movies, to read other books, or even *gasp* to write blog posts.

Before I know it, I feel burned out and discouraged. But if I didn't let myself get in such a hurry, I bet I'd feel much better. If I found the right pace I bet I'd feel like I could go on forever.

So how do you pace yourself as a writer?


  1. i have a heart rate monitor but never thought to apply it to writing. Might not register anything. I tend to have headphoens on and zone out when writing zen-style (or so I tell myself). Good when I get on a roll, not so good if I'm a bit sleepy.

    Moody Writing

  2. It's important to remember that even if all you do is a page a day, that's a novel a year. It's easy to feel after one day's writing session that you haven't accomplished much, but after a week or a month, it really adds up.

  3. Um, I don't? Seriously, I'm terrible, gosh-awful, bad at this. #partoftheaddiction

    The one thing I'm trying NOT to do (at least as much) is set artificial goals for myself and work like mad to meet them. That's great for getting writing done, but the rest of life suffers, and that's no good.

  4. What a great link! I could actually benefit from increasing my pace and focus on writing. :-)

  5. Oo, good one! I try to pace myself with writing, because I also work as an artist and I have a family, but I tend to forget everything when I hit a good part and the day disappears. Great reminder!

  6. Thanks for the comments, everyone! I know I feel better when I've got some variety in my life. It's especially important to keep reading and interacting with real human beings. BUT I WANT MY BOOK TO BE DONE NOW! Oh, waily waily!

  7. I'm really bad at this. I burn myself out and then I struggle to get back into the 'run'. I need to find my pace and stick to it. :) Great post.


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