My New Best Friend
I have never seen much value in this mantra: I don’t like to write, but I like having written. If you don’t like to write, you should probably find something do you like to do. While it’s true that I too like having written, and I too have slogged through some profitless sessions, have trashed tens of thousands of words, have spent days feeling utterly disconnected from everything I have ever written, in the end I like to write. Eventually I get connected, and something begins to flow, and I find myself lost in the dream of whatever I’m writing, and I can’t imagine giving up that experience anytime between now and the day I die. A couple years ago, however, I had begun to view exercise as something I simply liked having done. I had stopped running because my knees had become cranky, and the little regimen of pushups and chin-ups and sit-ups I was doing was boring. I began to skip it more and more. I put on weight. Then I came across something called T25, a series of DVDs featuring the happily fit Sean T., who became my new best friend. Sean T. told me I must focus, and I did. Sean T. ran me through a rapid series of exercises for exactly 25 minutes and shouted encouraging aphorisms. Sometimes I shouted back.
I loved it. I loved it for much the same reason I love writing – because I must focus on the moment. In fact, Sean T. gave me this very advice. “Focus on the moment!” he called from T25 Land, and I did. If I did not remain focused on the moment I would lose track of where Sean T. was telling me to go, and he and I would be in very different places, and he was my new best friend and I wanted to lunge, squat, sprint, and burpee right along with him.
And when I was done focusing on the moment for 25 minutes I was tired and I sweaty, but I had that lovely cleaned-out feeling that comes from intense exercise—and, now that I think of it, intense writing, too. It’s as if I’ve cleaned out the past with the present. There I am, having exercised or written, feeling finished and empty and ready for something new to focus on.
"A book to keep nearby whenever your writer's spirit needs feeding." Deb Caletti.
You can find Bill at: williamkenower.com