I’ve decided that sitting down to write for long periods of time takes the same amount of focus, energy, and endurance the Olympic athletes need to excel at their sports. Seriously! I sit here day after day, month after month, and sadly, year after year, clacking away at this computer, not moving a single muscle except for those in the fingers, wrists, forearms and eyeballs. But, at the end of each day, I’m exhausted and exhilarated at the same time. Then I sleep, and get up to do it all over again the next day.
I read somewhere that Michael Phelps works out for at least 5 straight hours a day. A re you kidding me? Puh-leeze, M-Phelp. I can do twice that without even taking a bathroom break. Apparently, he also consumes 12,000 calories a day. Psh…that’s nothing! With all the café mochas and red licorice I inhale, no doubt I’ve got you beat. I mean, every single Starbucks mocha I suck down is 1000 calories right there…Boom!
You know, I’m starting to believe that writing a novel is way tougher than being a multi-medal winning Olympian. I mean, these guys have their own entourage 24/7 coaching them, training them, massaging them, feeding them, brushing their teeth. We novelists got nothing! They’ve got the added luxury of having other people to compete against, so they have constant testosterone flying around, and instant adrenalin rushes when they watch competitors excelling. All this activity makes it easy to push through the pain and perform.
We writers sit in quiet solitude. No coaches. No competitors in our faces. No massages. No endorsements or money or commercials or free swim caps. Not that I’d wear a swim cap, but still, it’d be nice to have a collection of free ones anyway…you know, so I could create a display above the mantle or something.
All I’ve got is a brain and a pencil!
Okay, and a critique group and a computer. And an iPod and printer. And the internet and books. And all my Facebook and writing friends. And a cushy couch and lots of sweatsuits. And licorice and Coke Zero and café mochas. And Robin and Jay at my disposal 24/7 for brainstorming, last minute critiques, moral support, licorice, Coke Zero and café mochas. And my fantastic running shoes for those daily runs around the vineyard to work out the plot kink sessions. And a pool. And a hot tub. And my puppies to keep me company all day and play with me on breaks.
Okay, I don’t have it so bad. I do think they should start giving out medals for writers, though. And if they awarded them based on sheer endurance (the ability to bear prolonged exertion, pain, or hardship), I’d win the gold!