I’m waiting for my treadmill to be delivered and set up as I write this. Writers know that writing is a sedentary activity. You sit on your bum, stare at a screen, and type. (Well, except for the moments when you can’t think of what to type so you get up to get a drink, or a pretzel, or to unload the dishwasher, or toss in a load of laundry, or any of the other 100 things you can do to avoid the blank page.) I spend 8 -10 hours a day working on a computer and then another hour or so, on social things. That is a whole lot of on your bum time. With winter approaching and the odds of my going out in the cold to walk decreasing, I decided to finally stop thinking about getting a treadmill and actually buy one.
What does this have to do with anything? In my head, everything ties together. One thought leads to another. I thought back to the advice people gave me when I was thinking about transitioning from teaching to publishing more than a decade ago. No one ever mentioned the sedentary factor. At school, I was constantly walking around the room or the school. It didn’t occur to me my activity level would drop drastically with the change. I really didn’t even think of the walking and bending and stretching I did every day as being active – until it was gone.
This led me to thinking about other bits of advice I’ve gotten along the way. Some was helpful; some was not. Sometimes I got conflicting advice on a topic or issue. I think one of the toughest things is deciding which bits of advice work for you, which you should totally ignore, and which should be left on the back burner. It is helpful to hear tips from those who have traveled the path before you, but the reality is each of our paths is unique to us in some way. The journey is not a one-size-fits-all cap. What bit of advice did you find most helpful? Who shared it with you? What bit did you ignore?