May 9, 2011 | By: Tracy

The Treadmill Writer

Sidenote: I know I've been on extended leave lately, but I've been rather crazy with the convention I'm planning for work. So bear with me as I'm slow to post and attempting to reply to others using my iPhone. In about 2 weeks, all of this will be over and I'll be back to normal. Or, at least, as normal as I can be. I miss you all.

Treadmill writing. Sounds like some sort of catch phrase for a unique way of getting words onto paper, doesn't it? Like the way Plotters (I've been converted, but that’s a post for another time) may use the Snowflake Method or Cork Story Board.

It’s not. It’s not about how you write, but where you write.

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Over the past two years as I’ve grown more serious about my writing, like everyone else, I struggle to find enough time to sit down to work on my revisions, create a new WIP, and devote a goodly amount of time to my blog (recent vacay notwithstanding)

All of this has done wonders for my skills as a writer, but it doesn’t come without it’s drawbacks. Along with expanding my writing horizons, I’ve also expanded my midsection.

Let’s face it, it can be hard enough to find the time to fit a workout into a busy schedule as it is. Therefore it is nigh impossible for us writers to find the time to fit in both an hour of working-out AND an hour for writing in the same day.

In the latest issue of Romance Writers Report (thank you, RWA) there's an article discussing the growing trend in treadmill desks. Seems some writers have decided they want to have their cake and eat it too . . . wait, you know what I mean. More and more of us are deciding we don’t want to have to choose between being healthy and being a writer (caffeine addictions not included)

That's where the treadmill desk comes into the picture. 

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Assuming you already have a treadmill, there are multiple ways to turn your workout space into your writing space as well. Adjustable desks/tables can be purchased for those that have the cash to go that route, or--with a little effort--you can rig your own station. 

If you're interested, Google "Treadmill Desk” to get some ideas on how to make yours work for you.

Why bother?

Well, in the twenty minutes it’s taken me to write this blog post, walking at a 1.0 MPH (which is nothing more than a nice strolling pace) I’ve burned 45 calories. May not seem like much, but that’s 45 calories I wouldn't have burned sitting on my rear end at my desk. Imagine what I can do when I use it for my marathon writing bursts, brain storming sessions, or even my personal reading time.

I've only just created mine, but I'm loving it already. Not only am I not having to decide between whether I want to write or be able to wear shorts this summer, but I seem to think more creatively when I'm on my feet and moving around.

Curious to hear if anyone else is using something similar …or how do you attempt to keep yourself active and still get your writing time in?

24 witty remarks:

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'm not going to create one, partly because I don't have a treadmill. But also because I wouldn't get any writing finished if I tried. The walking part would be too much of a distraction. Fortunately I'm a runner (that's when I do most of my plot problem solving etc) and I manage to fit the time in (but it's easier for me to do than most people). :D

Melissa said...

HOLY CRAP THIS IS THE BEST IDEA EVER!!!! I'm moving out in a year and SO doing this. My midsection and butt/thighs(and boyfriend) will thank you endlessly for this!

salarsenッ said...

Hmm...this is interesting. Not sure I could write and workout at the same time. LOL

Jessica Bell said...

Oh my gosh! Does this really work? Don't your fingers kinda not go where they're supposed to when you're walking?

Liz Fichera said...

I can't decide whether this is a brilliant idea or laughable.

Anne Gallagher said...

Fab idea but I know I would be distracted beyond measure. I like to walk, but outside where I can see trees. Walking inside wouldn't do it for me. And I don't think I could multi-function like that. I'm not good at patting my head and rubbing my tummy.

Miss you too!

Deborah Walker said...

That is so awesome, Tracy. Kudos to you.

Kelsey said...

Ha, clever. I'm not sure I would be able to concentrate, but it's a neat idea.

Colene Murphy said...

Haha! Oh that's awesome!! You're a genius!
I hear just standing up and working on your computer can do wonders. I donno how, it's just what I hear ;)

Gina said...

Why didn't I think of that? I'm turning 31 on Wednesday and my metabolism is definitely starting to rebel against me. No more feeling torn between physical activity and mental activity!

Christopher said...

I can't even walk and chew gum at the same time. If I was more coordinated I'd be all over this.

LTM said...

time out. People are walking on a treadmill AND writing now??? I can't even listen to my iPod and write.

this is not gonna work for me... LOL!!! :D <3

David Powers King said...

I like the sound of this. Would come in handy during the winter months, shut inside a house with no easy means of cardio. And welcome back! I had not realized your return until now. :)

Sarah McCabe said...

That is a really interesting idea. I'd try it if I had a treadmill. But there's no point in buying one. A treadmill wouldn't survive 5 minutes in my house before my kids figured out how to break it.

Matthew MacNish said...

You can also just clench and unclench you butt cheeks constantly while you sit down. I was going to pretend that's what I do, but you would have seen right through it.

Susanne Drazic said...

Interesting idea. Don't think I could do that, but I have thought about one of those big balls you can sit on. I think that might work for me.

Chantele Sedgwick said...

I'm glad you're back!! :D I love treadmills by the way. Great idea!

Diana said...

This sounds a bit like exercise to me...not gonna happen in this girl's house. I'll keep my lazy arse parked on my couch with laptop burning my knees. I would love to watch someone do this though. ;)

Kari Marie said...

This is an interesting idea and a inventive new way to multitask. I'm wondering how accident prone little me could damage myself doing this? Hmm....best not to try or I'll be blogging from a hospital bed.

Drizel said...

This is really funny and super kewl. I want one too:)
Enjoy it!

Sophie Li said...

Hello I think I've just become a member of your tribe. :)

And I think that is totally brilliant! I couldn't do it myself but its really cool concept.

Jen Daiker said...

Well isn't that a nifty idea if I ever did see one. How cool that people are being proactive and getting learning how to really multi-task.

I sent at a desk all day and when I get home I find myself vegging on the couch after a long day at work. When it's time to write lately it's been off my iPhone because I can write anywhere (even standing up)... and I've recently downloaded a new app that allows me to keep track of my word count now that I have a word count goal!

Madeleine said...

Wow I want one. Sounds fabulous and exercise stimulates the creative juices too :O)

Janet Johnson said...

Wow, kudos to you for sure! I couldn't do it. I know. But I'm with Stina, I like to plot when I jog. Definitely looks cool, though. :)

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