May 31, 2011

Challenge yourself!

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 4:02 pm
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Writing is a stationary profession. I spend every day in front of a screen or with a pen in my hand, trying to carve down my characters’ lives. Experiencing love, loss and adventure through my characters’ eyes might be my favorite thing about writing, but if the only adventures I experienced were happening to my protagonists, then I’d soon lose my will to do much of anything. You see, I find that in order to improve my creative side, I have to challenge physical side. Go out into the world and experience the awesomeness that is all around me. That’s why I signed up for the Spartan Race (well, that, and this video. Seriously, could you resist that?)

The Spartan Race is a 5K mud run with obstacles. During my hour long trek I pushed through heavy bags, swam through a river, crawled through ice cubes, ran through an impressive amount of mud, climbed a wall, and another wall, and another wall, tried and failed to climb a rope (so did burpees instead), dragged and carried a stone across a field, threw a spear at a target (missed it so more burpees), jumped over a fire, crawled under barbed wire (and got my hair stuck), and made it over a slippery wall in the end. And through it all I had my team mates there with me, supporting me as I supported them. For a person who’s used to playing to win, it was surprisingly nice to go as a team.

After the race, we competed in a tire flipping competition. The goal was to make as many rounds as possible in five minutes of flipping the tractor tire, jumping through it and then doing three burpees where you had to jump on top of the tire for it to count. I’m proud to say that I won in the women’s category by completing 8 1/2 rounds. I’m less proud to say that I was the only woman stupid brave enough to try. My price? A three month membership at a crossfit gym that’s too far away from where I live Honor and glory.

Doing these kinds of things makes me feel alive. It’s a goal to train towards, and it’s definitely a fun experience. And did it boost my creativity? Heck yeah!

How do you wake up your muse?



  1. I cook. And bake. Two days ago I made giant sweet bread rolls, cinnamon buns and fresh rosemary focaccia bread. I dare say my French essy was fantastic.

    Comment by Aina — May 31, 2011 @ 4:19 pm | Reply

  2. Congratulations on finishing the race.
    I’m more than a bit envious.

    I might not do exercise to wake my muse, but I do find it refreshing to get on the bike and just pedal for a couple of hours or go for a long run.

    Comment by gaute — May 31, 2011 @ 4:46 pm | Reply

    • I’m starting to get the long run thing now. Used to not be in good enough shape, but now that I can run, I can see the appeal.

      And thanks! They have them in the UK too, so if you want to try a Spartan Race, there’s always Ryanair. 🙂

      Comment by nascentnovelist — June 1, 2011 @ 1:00 pm | Reply

  3. I wish I could readily answer your question about muse-awakening. I’ll have to think on this.

    In the meantime, I’d like to just weigh in as finding it awesome that you participated in the tire-flipping competition!

    Comment by Deborah the Closet Monster — May 31, 2011 @ 7:44 pm | Reply

    • Thanks! I actually love flipping tractor tires. I know it sounds a bit silly, but it is really fun. 🙂

      Comment by nascentnovelist — June 1, 2011 @ 1:02 pm | Reply

  4. Oddly enough, my muse is an early bird, so if I get up at 06.00 or so, I generally find her. then I loose her arround noon, so I go for a run and have lunch, and at that point I generally find her again (or I dont, and have to wait untill morning..)

    Comment by ragnhild — June 1, 2011 @ 2:49 am | Reply

    • Hm, my writing is generally best between nine and one in the morning, but if I’ve gotten the writing going by then, I can keep going until about six. Morning workouts push me out of bed and into the right frame of mind (except today when I ended up doing too much yoga because it was so fun and I still can’t write anything).

      Comment by nascentnovelist — June 1, 2011 @ 1:03 pm | Reply

  5. […] Recommended post: Challenge yourself! […]

    Pingback by FTIAT: Give it that extra push! « The Monster in Your Closet — February 3, 2012 @ 9:31 am | Reply

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