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Torn allegiances

Some might consider it counterproductive for my first real post (I don’t count my last one) to contain a confession that I haven’t been writing for the past, hmm, eight months or so when my site is ostensibly devoted to promoting my writing career. What can I say? I live dangerously. As dangerously as one can live in the electronic medium, that is.

All right, here it is: I haven’t been writing for the past eight months. I do believe that writers write, period, and that the only way to get through writer’s block is to write through it. There are various reasons why I didn’t, one among them being that I was focused on my health and taking off the ten pounds I’d put on following a trip to Disney World in May 2008. One of my tools, aside from the fabulous Leigh Peele‘s work, was my GoWear Fit. I love this little device. I don’t plan to use it forever, and I know it isn’t 100% accurate, but. It first convinced me that I was, initially, eating too little for my activity level. Now that I have that straightened out, it’s shown me to me how few calories I burn while sitting. Pretty much the same as sleep. And no, that one hour of exercise really doesn’t make up for those eight hours working as a desk jockey.

So I have mixed feelings about choosing a sedentary activity as my favored hobby when the majority of my day already consists of sitting. Because honestly, that writer’s mantra “butt in chair [or in my case, butt on exercise ball], hands on keyboard” is at odds with my GoWear Fit–induced awareness of nonexercise activity thermogenesis, or NEAT, which is simply all the calories we burn by living life rather than formal exercise. And that’s where the bulk of our caloric burn comes from. In terms of getting to eat more food, I’d be much better off spending that hour or two cleaning my apartment or walking while reading or biking or pretty much anything besides sitting. And despite my history as an undereater, I like food. It tastes good. It makes me happy.

But writing makes me happy, too.* I’m more content when I’m writing consistently. I have a sense of benevolence toward the whole world, including those whom I normally consider irritants. I suppose it’s rather how mothers feel when holding their newborns for the first time. Or at least it makes me feel deep and philosophical to think so, at any rate.

So yes, I plan to get back to writing regularly. I’ll likely hitch my star to NaNoWriMo for the sixth time out and use its momentum to get me going again. Though I have to admit that as Wrimos all over scramble to get their 50k done and chant to themselves, “butt in chair, hands on keyboard,” a tiny part of me will sigh wistfully: Guess I don’t get my pumpkin pancake today.**

And then I will get my butt on my exercise ball and my hands on my keyboard, and I will write. (Though I might also wish I had a treadmill and treadmill desk, but that, too, is another post.)

*Well, for the most part. There are the days when I want to pull my hair out over characters running amok and plot points that won’t come together, but that’s another post.

**I love pumpkin pancakes. Found a wonderful recipe last year for pumpkin gingerbread pancakes. Just thinking about them now makes me all tingly.

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