Commonalities of writing and exercise

It has occurred to me that writing can be and is somewhat, in someway similar to exercise in that, the more you do it, the better you get at it and the better you look. How is that so?
Well if you do exercise or go to gym, or do any kind of sport really you will know that it takes time to achieve your goal, to improve to achieve a certain performance level. The key is that the more you do it, the better you get. Practice and training are essential in improvement.

The same is true, as any experienced writer or blogger will tell you, with writing. You can’t come from nowhere and expect to write a best selling novel of the bat, just like you wouldn’t expect to start swimming one day and win an Olympic gold medal in a few months. It just doesn’t work that way.

Talent plays a huge part of course, however it is possible for someone without that natural talent to develop the skill. It only takes the desire to improve, the determination and practice, practice, practice!

Now, as any gym goer and sportsman will tell you, variance is vital. If you go to the gym and you repeat the same training plan over and over again, you will reach a dead end. Your muscles will not grow any bigger, you will not get any faster etc. There is a term in physics called terminal velocity. This is when a free falling object due to one of Newton’s laws of motion which states that every action has an equal but opposite reaction. Therefore any force applied is reacted by an equal but opposite force ( something to that effect…it’s been ages since I last did physics, so I apologise for my lack of correct terminology.) This means that the free falling object is exerting a force ( due to gravitational pull ) as Force = mass x acceleration, and therefore has and equal but opposite force acting upon it. The object therefore reaches a point where due to these equal forces it no longer accelerating, instead falls at a constant speed called it’s terminal velocity.
One of Newton’s laws states that an object will either remain at rest or continue to travel at a constant velocity unless an external force is applied to it…. This would probably be the correct law that terminal velocity falls under, though the other explanation does still apply to an extent.
In sports and exercise, this would be labeled muscle memory. Your muscles get used to doing a certain action that they no longer respond to that particular action, pace of action and/or amount of repetition. They have reached their terminal velocity. This results in a plateau effect, where your muscles no longer grow in size, or your performance does not increase any further. Therefore something needs to change, an outside force must be applied, in order to achieve the desired effect and performance increase, and is the reason you will never see any sports training sessions being the same as the one before.
Again I tell you that the same is true for writing, if you write in exactly the same style, about the same thing every time, you will not change, nor improve. You will reach your terminal velocity, no longer accelerating, no longer gaining followers of your work. Subtle though the changes may be, they are crucial not just for you in improving your writing, but for your readers too. Nobody wants to read the exact same thing over and over again, no matter how good it may be. All writers have a niche, however by practising and change their routine a little from time to time ensures that they improve their technique and increase their number of followers. i.e. the better your writing looks.

Unfortunately however, though they have commonalities, one will not necessarily help with the other. Being a good writer will unfortunately not give you a supermodel like physique, as great as that would be and exercising physically doesn’t make you a great writer.
However, research does show that exercise is linked with increase in academics, which in turn means that it could improve your writing ability somewhat but having a supermodel physique doesn’t automatically make you a novelist.

I like to do both and the fact of the matter is that for both, in order to progress you need to put in the time and the effort.


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