The similarity between losing weight and writing a great novel

I suppose the first thing that comes to mind by the purposed comparison in the title is “nothing”, and on the surface, that is correct. But look deeper, and you will find a few things in common between the two:

First of all, I am trying to do both. No, just kidding. While that is true, that is not really the first point I will be making. My emphasis here is on the word trying. Both of them are long term goals that are hard to accomplish, and, for me, it is sometimes astounding to see how something that hinders progress in one, can hinder it for the other, or vice versa.

Both topic have a plethora of self-help books and little guidelines and even fads. Every now and then some celebrity will come along and write a book about his/her favorite pasta dishes, or some writer or another will believe he/she is revolutionizing the way books are written with his/her secret tips of only writing naked under the full moon or some insane thing or another.

Both things require a lot of motivation to even get started, and just because you did well last week staying away from ice cream does not mean that this week is going to be as good; every day is a new struggle. Even when the larger goal of losing 15 kg (about 33 lbs) can be broken down into smaller weekly goals, there is no guarantee that the every day efforts are going to be up to par. The same goes for writing. Writing your 600 words a day, or weekly plot milestones are very easy to miss if you get distracted, busy, or just feel tapped out.

I know myself that finding excuses is easy, why I deserve to eat that thing, why it’s okay not to exercise today, why my book can wait to tomorrow. Just like with a lot of things, but more so for weight loss and writing than anything, the word “later” is a death-sentence to success.

You can pick up any of the thousands of those self-help books about writing with very well thought through tips on how to get on your backside and write, which often work for about a week before you are back to binge watching whatever’s new on Netflix instead. The same also applies to weight loss. A week of healthy broccoli and fruit smoothies, and then another week of chili chicken wings dipped in something that would make your doctor cry.

But do not worry, there is a solution. Read a self-help book, by all means, but be ready to make the necessary adjustments to whatever advice you got there so it would fit your life and your personality! At the end of the day, everyone needs to find what works for them and where temptation lies that could get in the way of success. As I mentioned in previous posts, I try to make an evening, or even a whole day, out of writing, making some nice snacks, getting a bottle of wine (or several bottles of beer) and really let things flow. I also like to read quotes by my favorite authors, or maybe even just excerpts from my favorite books for inspiration. Another little trick of mine is to find music that, in some way, is relevant to what I am writing, either in the lyrics or the style.

 

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