When I started working towards my degree in history, I noticed that while all the students were couch potatoes, all the professors were athletes. I didn’t get why they were all hooked on challenging their bodies then, but I do now.
Writing is hard. Sure, on good (and even some bad) days, it’s fun, but we all know the time comes when you stare at the screen and have no words. None. You’ll try for a sentence and realize that you should never have had the audacity to think that could form coherent thoughts. Every single word of English must somehow have fallen out of your head and if you try to speak, all that’ll come out is a squeak and a stutter. Power-lifting is for those days.
When you lift, you punch out the bad writing days. By pushing your body, you get rid of frustration and stress and you come back to the writing board with new input and a clearer head.
You also push the limits of what you believe you can do and impress yourself. You get measurable results so you know exactly how you’re progressing. Of course it’s hard, and of course you hit plateaus, but working through them teaches you that not managing a lift is not a set-back or a failure, it’s just part of the process. You’re getting stronger, it just takes a while.
Believe it or not, it’s the same thing with writing. On the days when you get nothing done, the words are just saturating, spinning in the back of your head, getting ready to pop out. And sure, you need to find proper nutrition (good books and blogs to read), re-set your lifts and build your way up again (editing), perhaps even change the number of reps you do (okay, I lost myself there, but number of POVs?), but you can do it.
So climb that mountain, pull that truck, flip that tractor tire, because writing is hard, and you need to make yourself mighty. And know that next time you get a rejection letter or never hear back from a magazine, it’s not a set-back; it’s part of the process.