The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Raising Energy

I have a huge backlog of specifically writing-centered things to talk about, but that in and of itself is a trap.  We, as artists, are the tools that create, and to neglect that aspect of our craft would be to violate one of the basic principles of Lifewriting.  So we have to address physical energy.  Without energy, our ambition fails.  Our courage fails.  We fall back into old habit patterns, and forget that we are beings of infinite potential. 

Luckily, the minimum time and effort necessary to maintain energy is quite small: about an hour a week of brisk walking, divided into three twenty minute sessions, will help quite a bit if you can stay focused. 

If you are ready for something more intense, but still simple, try Hindu Squats and Hindu Pushups.  Free mini-movies demonstrating them can be found at:
Here is a great way to practice them: Start the second hand of a clock.  Do as many Hindu Pushups as you can for 30 seconds. Rest 30 seconds.  Do as many Hindu Squats as you can for 30 seconds.  Rest thirty seconds.  Repeat.
Writing is absolutely dreadfully sedentary activity, and you must remember that your brain is fed on glucose and oxygen.  If you don’t take care of your body, your brain CANNOT function at its highest levels.  Got bad habits you can’t break?  Look at this model of Behavioral Modification:
Observe the habit you want to change.
2) Decide on the new habit.
3) Raise your energy level
4) Practice the new habit
5) Fail successfully
6) Start over again.

Most people never decide what they want, they fail to raise their energy, and they interpret temporary setbacks as disaster.  “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”  It will take you YEARS to get your career going properly.  Be realistic about this, and plan to have plenty of energy for those scripts and books when the contracts finally start coming in.

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