WritersButt Wednesday – Eviction Notice
Hello WritersButt team! I hope you’ve had a great week. You may wonder why I titled this blog, Eviction Notice. Eviction from where? I’m going to try to evict you from your comfort zone. We all love to be comfortable, to feel secure in our routines. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as we aren’t cemented there. How do you even know what you’re missing out on if you never experience anything outside of the boundaries of your little comfort-haven?
Trying new things, presenting yourself with challenges, can improve many aspects of your life. I’ll address the two areas that relate to WritersButt since that’s why you’re here. That is why you’re here, right? Let’s take a look at the benefits of being uncomfortable in terms of your fitness and your writing.
Does your fitness routine consist of a walk every day, probably taking the same route? Or maybe you go to the gym three times a week, same days every week, (so you see the same people) and you do your pre-determined time on the treadmill or elliptical, then maybe you’ll go through the machines, in the same order as always, perhaps with little to no variance in the weights. I bet some of you love spin class or yoga, so you attend those classes each week, hop on the same bike, set your mat in the part of the room, next to your friend … every time.
It’s time to stop it. No, I don’t mean never take a walk or go to yoga with a friend, but add in something different. About a year ago, I was visiting a good friend of mine in Oregon. She had been doing Zumba and wanted me to join her for a class. Many of you know that I own a CrossFit gym and there’s not much Zumba-ing going on. But I was game. I had a GREAT time. I laughed (at myself) and pretty much boogied my rear for an hour.
I know many people who are afraid of weightlifting, the kind away from machines, where you use bars and plates. It can be intimidating. At CrossFit, we do a lot of Olympic and power weightlifting. I can’t tell you how many clients come in and are nervous about this, especially the women, but they try and soon they are HOOKED. What if they had never tried? They would never know the elation of squatting while holding a heavy weighted bar over their head. Let me tell you, that is a freaking awesome feeling!
New things start off scary and that’s a good thing. Challenge your body and mind to new stressors and let it adapt. You’re doing yourself a favor by giving your body a chance to learn, expand, be efficient and adaptable with what it can handle. Plus, you’re obliterating the boredom factor.
In terms of writing, let me ask you this. What is the most boring writing ever, the biggest mistake in poorly written books? I suspect most of you said, ‘No conflict’. Every book on the craft of writing, all the online workshops, the agents and editors reading your submissions … across the board will tell you, MORE CONFLICT.
What creates conflict? Conflict is created by feeling uncomfortable. The feeling of being challenged, by the unknown, by fearing you can’t do something but you have to. We put our characters through it all the time because we’re all such amazing writers. We give our characters conflict so their story is interesting, intense and rewarding. We also give them moments of reprieve, to enjoy a breather.
Don’t cheat yourself out of what you give to your characters. Don’t you deserve a fun, challenging, rewarding and compelling life? I say we all do! Please don’t cheat yourself out of amazing experiences because you don’t want to feel uncomfortable.
Consider this as well. If you don’t know the feeling of being uncomfortable, of facing the unknown or scary challenge, how can you authentically write that for your characters? Let’s say you have a character who is totally tone-deaf. I mean, she can’t carry a tune in a Texas-sized bucket. You can relate because you’ve channeled this trait from yourself. For you and your character, I bet being forced to sing karaoke would make you want to shrivel up and die … or worse, pee your pants in public. You’re going to have to make your character do it, because that would be an intensely conflicted scene (not to mention hilarious) and you’re an awesome writer. So, I say, make yourself go through it. Do it! Your character will thank you for sticking with her, through the good times and the bad.
“Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.” ~Raymond Lindquist
So this week, my number one challenge is to evict yourself out of your comfort zone. Try at least one new thing. Maybe a sport, or different type of workout. Maybe sign up for a class to learn a new skill. If the thought of dancing out on a dance floor makes you want to hide behind the mechanical bull, grab your partner or some friends and go to a dance bar and make yourself get out there and boogie.
If something makes you nervous or gives you that electric zing of fear, face it and try it. Even if you fail, your attempt is a victory!
But I warn you, you might have some fun. So, proceed with a total, utter, lack of caution.
Go. For. It!! I double-dog-wizard-dare you!
This past weekend was my son’s 14th birthday. Every year he requests his favorite meal; Sloppy Joes. Even though I’m not a huge fan of sloppy joes, I can’t refuse his blond cuteness or those darn irresistible dimples. I asked him if I could kick it up a notch this year. Since he’s super awesome, he said yes. I Googled and found this Rachael Ray recipe for Sloppy Buffalo Joes. They were a huge hit. Some people had buns, some ate the filling with the coleslaw like a salad and a couple of us had ours piled on top of a seared portobello mushroom cap. De-Lish!
Workout of the Week:
We have a CrossFit workout called “Griff”. My sister reminded me of it yesterday so I thought I’d share if with you all to see if anyone was up for the challenge.
Note: A quick explanation of why this workout has a name and why it’s Griff. Many CrossFit workouts have names, and the ones named for men are called Hero Workouts because they are named after CrossFitters who were in the armed forces or law enforcement who died in the line of duty. “Griff” is in honor of USAF SSgt Travis L. Griffin, 28, who was killed April 3, 2008 in the Rasheed district of Baghdad by an IED strike to his vehicle. Travis is survived by his son Elijah.
800m running forward
400m running backward
800m running forward
400m running backward
*Ok, I’ve done this workout a couple times and it’s tough! Quite frankly, since I really don’t love running, I thought the 800m (1/2 a mile) forward running would be the hardest. Boy, was I wrong. Running backward is way harder than it seems. My quads were ON FIRE! Don’t let me scare you away from trying this. You can scale it in half using 400m and 200m. You can fast-walk this too if you have to. Just give it a try!
So, talk to me! In the comments, tell me something you’ve done which was totally out of your comfort zone. How did it make you feel? Did you do it voluntarily or were you forced?
Posted on April 11, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged blogging, comfort zone, CrossFit Georgetown, fitness, Ginger Calem, health, sloppy joe recipe, WritersButt Wednesday, Zumba. Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.