Last night I had the pleasure of attending parents’ night at my daughter’s school. It’s my annual chance to follow my daughter’s class schedule to undergo a condensed version of her day. I started out in her homeroom and then walked around the school going to all nine of her classes.
At the end of the condensed school day, I took stock and noticed something pretty interesting. It appeared that the most motivating, exciting, energetic and inspirational teachers were the ones who appeared to be in good physical shape. Well, let me rephrase that, they seemed to be fit.
I also noticed that the teachers who taught by punishment, low expectation and harsh grading were on the opposite end of the fitness spectrum. These teachers had obviously neglected their health. They couldn’t stand for too long, they were out of breath, sweating profusely and had an overall appearance of poor health (I’m not saying that all out of shape teachers are impatient, I’m just making an observation of what I saw last night).
Frankly, I thought it odd when my daughter came home from school the first week and told me how much she now loves Social Studies (a subject that she previously hated) and math was a drag (a subject that she had always loved). After meeting her teachers, I understood why. Her Social Studies teacher is an inspirational motivational force and her math teacher, well, she’s not.
What Does This Have to Do with Freelance Writing?
Freelance writers have ample opportunity to become extremely out of shape. We spend untold hours hunched over a computer, staring at a screen (blinking infrequently), sitting on our rumps, nibbling and drinking who knows what. If we don’t watch it we can become very round and unhealthy. We get tons of mental exercise and our fingers are probably in great shape, but what about the rest of our bodies.
When was the last time you had all cylinders of your creative juice engine firing? I don’t know about you, but after a few days of too much eating and not enough moving, such as I do around Thanksgiving, I have a real hard time getting my creative juices to flow. When I’m sluggish, full, bloated and generally uncomfortable (because I ate too much and my pants are too tight), I have a difficult time coming up with much of anything (except the desire to take a nap).
On the other hand, when I’m in the ‘zone,’ it’s a lot different. Once I’ve recovered from my eat fest, spent a few days getting back in shape and cleaning up my diet, I find that ideas start to flow. Just going for a long walk does wonders for my creativity.
Working Smarter not Harder
When creative juices don’t flow, I’ve got to work hard to come up with article ideas and work even harder writing the article. When I’m in the zone, ideas flow, words arrange themselves effortlessly and I can do a week’s worth of work in a couple of hours. My daughter’s teachers, by example, have taught me quite a bit on how to get the most out of my freelance writing.
I’ve mentioned it before, but I think it’s worth repeating. We need to make time to take care of our health. What fun is earning a bunch of money in residual income each month if we can’t enjoy it?
I don’t know about you, but I’m putting on my sneakers and going for a walk (I’d say I’m going for a run, but there’s very little difference between my running speed and my walking speed). 😀