No, I’m not talking about a run or a walk, but rather a word sprint. I spent most of my weekend writing. I sat with a computer on my lap and typed. And typed. And typed. When I got stuck, I skipped ahead in the story. I brainstormed with friends. I typed some more. Before I knew it an hour had passed. I had word wars with other writers (who can type the most words in 15 minutes? 30 minutes?) and took my characters from Greece to Italy. I gave my main character a reason to be pissed. And heartbroken. And by the end of all that, by the end of the day on Sunday, I had written over 7,000 words this weekend and over 5,000 words in one day. It felt phenomenal. And I felt totally exhausted. It was totally worth it. I had one of the best days in recent memory, holed up in my room, drinking a peppermint mocha, with no one but my characters and a few online friends for company. And it was heavenly.
If you ask me why I like to write, I’ll tell you: writing is therapy. There is a lot going on in my personal life and the best way to deal with reality is to use writing as an outlet, whether it be journaling or writing fiction, poetry or prose. You are what you read (or write) and an experience like this changes you. Writing helps to work out thoughts and figure out answers; it heals heartbreak; it builds character. Much like exercise, writing helps stretch you, challenge you. And at the end of the day, you come out stronger. You feel more yourself because of what you have put into your writing.
*image credit: Annie Rosse