What do you do (when you’re not writing) for yourself?

October 26th, 2009 • Kate

Nia-Feature-artIt’s been a busy fall day here at kt lit, even though it started off with snow (in October! Again! I KNOW!). Anyway, I’ve been thinking lately about the other things we do in our lives that refresh and renew our spirit, and otherwise enable us to write. What do you do that keeps your spirit awake? Or, when it’s been sleeping (or bundled up against the cold and the writer’s block) what do you do to wake it up?

I’ve been doing Nia for the past few years. Never heard of Nia before? The description, from the website:

Nia is a path to condition, heal and express your self through movement and sensation. A dynamic blend of dance arts, martial arts and healing arts, Nia revolutionized the face of fitness in 1983, and has since changed millions of lives and bodies across the globe. Balancing technical precision with free-form expression, Nia brings the body, mind, emotions and spirit to optimum health through music, movement and self-expression, guided by the sensation of Pleasure.

I’ve recently decided to test for my White Belt, as well as my teacher certification, in order to more deeply experience the pleasure of Nia, and share it with others. Every time I finish a class, I come out excited to tackle the next thing, and I love that feeling!

I know of several other writers that teach fitness — maybe it’s something about the schedule that allows for bountiful free time, or at least a flexible schedule. So, what do you do for spiritual healing? Cue Marvin Gaye…

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16 Responses to “What do you do (when you’re not writing) for yourself?”

  1. ChristaCarol Says:

    Eh….nothing. Yet. I have been trying the gym thing, but then kids got sick and schedules got messed up so I fell off the wagon. One of my big things right now is working on changing this issue, making time for myself instead of always having my kids and husband come first. 'Cause that just isn't healthy! If I had the money, I can tell you exactly what my spiritual healing would be: A weekly hour long massage.

  2. A. L. Sonnichsen Says:

    I hadn't heard of Nia before. How fun! I used to love kickboxing before I started having children. These days I rejuvenate myself by inventing new recipes. Italian food is my forte. And if there's a piano around, I sit down and play. I'm horrible at reading music, so I play by ear. Very calming.

  3. Ash Says:

    Nia, huh? Sounds interesting. I generally do kickboxing and running for fun, but it also helps me with my trainings. Truth be told, it makes me feel invigorated after, and I'm always flowing with writing ideas and dialogue.

    That's so exciting your white belt. I made it all the way to red/black belt before quitting martial arts due to an illness. Sometimes I miss it, and I can relate to the high you get after accomplishing it πŸ™‚

  4. Celsie Says:

    I dance. Right now it's belly dance, but I've done the normal forms in the past. Little wrist flores really help the carpal tunnel after a long writing session.

    It's getting bad, though. I can't listen to music without thinking about choreographing. When I'm doing character studies, imagining where the hip drop goes doesn't help me understand why the characters locked themselves inside a building for 30 days.

  5. Vonna Says:

    Here in the 4th largest city in the U.S., I've never heard of Nia. Pilates still seems revolutionary, and that's what I do. I tried belly dance, Celsie, and did ok up until we had to add in the hand movements. That's when I discovered that I can't walk and chew gum at the same time. I love being out in our Texas state parks, but mostly, I spend my time enjoying my family and reading.

  6. Kristi Says:

    As I've also been dealing with this Colorado snow, I've been doing more yoga and pilates indoors. I'm also a Reiki Master which helps keep my spiritual side in balance – I use it along with meditation and it has contributed to some fantastic book ideas.

  7. Northwriter Says:

    I exercise. Long distance running helps me renew the spirit. In the winter I do a lot of crosscountry skiing. I'm fortunate to have trails right out my door. I also do some meditation.

    Another thing I'm doing directly tied to my writing is that I've built a desktop for my treadmill and now I walk as I write. The movement really helps relieve the physical problems that arise from too much sitting and it helps keep me alert. This will be my first winter writing on the treadmill. I'm hoping it'll provide the spark that'll help cancel out the energy draw of the dark Alaskan winter. If anyone is interested in seeing the set up I've posted a picture of my treadmill desk on my blog under the category, Bio.

  8. Amy Says:

    I joined a choir and am taking improv classes. It's kind of like I cannot get any nerdier… and for that, huzzah!

  9. Carrie Harris Says:

    I swim. For some reason, once I get in the water, my brain just… stops. I find it absolutely impossible to be neurotic in the water, and you know how impressive that is!

  10. Stina Says:

    I run. I've tweaked my query that way, come up with ways to improve a scene in a book I'm working on, and even figured out a new concept for a book all while running. I find I have to do a physical activity where it's okay for me to let my mind wander. The only thing is the ideas usually come at the beginning of the run (when I can't write them down), so I have to repeat them in my head the entire way home.

  11. Mandy Says:

    I relax with music. 17 years of paino, 8 years of band, and 4 years of handbells have trained me that way. When I want to think about nothing I belt out show tunes on the top of my lungs when my roommate out is. If I'm really stressed, dominating a piano piece I know well is very soothing. Throwing all of my worries out the window for an hour a week at handbell practice is amazing. Music just lets all my worries flood away.

    Of course I generally don't use it as a technique to focus on my writing. My writing doesn't generally stress me out, and if I get stuck I just let it mellow in my head for a while and work on homework. It's all my school work that stresses me out. Aeroelasticity, fluids lab, optimal guidance and control, fun fun fun. Really its amazing how often I've thought of something new for my writing while stressing over a homework assignment.

  12. Karen Says:

    Well, when I'm not writing, I'm reading. And also, I've strted Body Pump class (cardo w/ weights). Or I veg out and watch Glee (LOVE THAT SHOW!) or The Office, How I Met Your Mother, Supernatural, True Blood or anything else that makes me laugh or scare the heck out of me!

  13. Stephanie W. Says:

    I either go running through campus (which is in the mountains and beautiful) or go on a midnight walk with my roommate. The later is for when we can't sleep or are stressed out.

    Also, hot chocolate is always a plus. And a favorite. I love curling up with a good book and a warm cup of hot chocolate.

  14. Amy Says:

    I get crazy into photography – If I have my camera with me for a day, I generally take over 600 photos! Then weed them out to only about 200 before putting them on my computer and editing at least 100 that I would keep. It makes my entire day completely worth it because of the pictures πŸ™‚ Nothing is more relaxing to me

  15. Kate Says:

    Thanks, all! These are great — keep 'em coming! Amy, I love your photos — what kind of camera do you use? I'm in the market for a new one.

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