Writer’s Butt

I’d like to buy into the concept that my embiggened backside is the result of hours spent at the keyboard versus hours scaling the climbing wall or striding smoothly through my local marathon. After all, I’m a recovering fitness-professional (that’s what we call ourselves when our 26 certifications finally lapse and we don’t renew them). I understand the equation sedentary time=higher body fat.

However…however…the truth is, I don’t spend nearly as many hours at the keyboard as I did when I was still teaching a couple yoga and belly dance classes per week. When the first book of mine came out, I was chasing a toddler (who now spends the bulk of his weekday in someone else’s classroom). For me, the math hasn’t been quite so simple. I don’t have writer’s butt, as much as I have chauffeur’s butt, mother-of-a-teenager butt, good-Lord-but-I-need-another-glass-of-wine butt, and “Are you gonna finish that cheesecake?” butt.

Enter Julia Cameron. I first encountered her in college when I was introduced to THE ARTIST’S WAY. Her core tool for “artistic healing” and creativity generation is a three-page daily morning brain-dump (my term, not hers), during which you draft stream-of-consciousness until your mind is relatively clear. There are tons of other exercises to do as well, but the brain-dump is key.

I’ve done my morning pages off-and-on ever since. I tend to go off them for the same reason I tend NOT to be a diarist–for me, at least, I fear that it’s self-indulgent whining that feeds upon itself. If I’m going to write three pages in the morning, they should be heartfelt, emotionally true, fascinating, delightful fiction without typos.


Are you gonna eat that other Pop-Tart?

I just ran across another Cameron classic I hadn’t seen before: THE WRITER’S DIET. I’ve peeked at it–and sure enough, the brain-dump is a core factor. But I haven’t delved and dug.

Have you? Do you find that the more you write, the easier it is to manage your body and spirit? Or do you have to struggle with basic writer’s butt?

And are you a Cameron fan (or, like me, a child who runs to her spiritual mother for comfort, and then periodically rebels?)