WIP Workout

Last fall Cherokee Nation opened a fitness center on the site of the Male Seminary for its citizens, employees and their families. Like many other Native American populations, we have a skyrocketing rate of diabetes and associated medical problems. The center is free to citizens, employees and family members. The Tahlequah community is also welcome for a reasonable monthly fee.

This morning my husband and I went to sign him up as a family member. While he was shooting baskets I used the treadmill.

While I was treading away at a moderately slow 3.8 mph, in my new tight and thigh hugging Lucy Tech pants that my sister talked me into buying, it occurred to me how much alike my body and my WIP are. We’re both pear shapes–which is supposed to be good except that pear shapes can be prone to circulation system problems.

Like my body, my WIP is bottom heavy, bottom heavy with back story and suspected information dumps. And like my body whose main form of exercise has been walking from the parking lot into the grocery store once a week, my WIP could also use more motion, more action.

One of my new year’s resolutions was to exercise my body more–yoga and using the treadmill–cardio machines, I believe is what treamills are called now. One of my 2009 commercial writing goals was to finish the first draft of my WIP by May 2009. That’s about four months away. To meet this deadline I’m going to have to give my WIP a workout, which means making a schedule, just like I’ll have to schedule my body’s workout times. I need the structure that a schedule gives otherwise I’ll just think about writing or exercising. Even if I don’t strictly adhere to my schedule, at least it will be in place to focus my energy toward May 2009, the END of May 2009.

Claude Mary


7 thoughts on “WIP Workout

  1. I love your analogy between working out and a WIP. I’d never thought of it that way. Both have to be exercised on a regular basis; however, it’s too bad we can’t do both at the same time. Even the voice activated software’s have their pitfalls. Guess the best we can do is work on plot problems or story lines as we’re toning those muscles into shape on the treadmill.


  2. CM – maybe you’re ahead of your time… there are a bunch of folks trying to develop a commercially viable Treadmill Desk/Workstation for folks on computers all day long. One study figured you could burn tons of calories just by walking a modest mile an hour while you typed. Here is a link to some of the homemade/do-it-yourself setups: http://officewalkers.ning.com/photo


  3. I totally agree with you, Claude Mary — exercise makes me feel awake and alert and ready to create. It’s also the best time to work out plot problems for me — if I’m walking or working in the yard, there’s not a single situation I can’t write my way out of.

    Sandee, how do you keep up with all this stuff??? You know so much about so many things. I’m impressed.

  4. Using the manuscript pages just seemed logical. We don’t subscribe to the newspaper since Bob does all his reading online, and I had literally thousands of manuscript pages that I wanted to do something with (besides them tossing them on a fire). It’s worked very well for me, and I’ve found that usually, by the end of the growing season, they’ve all pretty much broken down and worked into the soil.

  5. I plant the plants, spread out the manuscript pages, usually three or four thick, then toss on enough mulch to cover up the paper. The first few times I water, I do it heavier than normal, to get the paper started breaking down, but after a few weeks, I just water normally.

  6. Thanks Marilyn, I have half a file cabinet of old poetry scraps, short story scraps and novel manuscript pages that I am going to put to work fighting weeds. I hate pulling weeds. So this sounds like it will really help.

    Claude Mary

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