Happy January! Can you believe it’s 2019 already? I swear, I’m partially in shock. I don’t know what happened to the entire month of December. But you know what’s really cool? I get to take the reins on the RADblog for the next couple months! So, we’ll be hanging out for January and February, before Ms. Boehm’s return (isn’t she amazing?!).
This month, since it’s January, let’s talk about resolutions.
More than that, let’s talk about resolutions for writers.
But let’s take it one step further.
Let’s talk about resolutions for writers, which have nothing to do with writing.
Why? Because as writers, it’s good for us to get out and do things, to see the world through a new lens (or two, or three, or four). So, this month, this beautifully chilly January, let’s talk about some things you can resolve to do this year, which have nothing to do with writing—but that I believe will help expand your writing career.
I know what some of you are thinking. You’re thinking that you’re the most uncoordinated person in the world, and that dancing would definitely not be a good idea. You’re cowering in fear, thinking you don’t want anyone to see you move on a dance floor.
You would be wrong.
Dancing, as it happens, is my current hobby of choice. But, I’ll have you know, I’m not the most coordinated person on the planet. I’d never danced at all, before August 2018. I didn’t know how to move, didn’t know what to move when… I didn’t know anything. Then my friend (CD Yensen, as it happens) talked up belly dancing.
In just a couple months, I’ve progressed quite well. I’m already out of the introductory classes.
Why am I bringing this up, though?
What does dancing have to do with writing?
Why should we, as writers, take this up as a hobby?
The answer is simple, really.
As writers, we tend to be some of the most stagnant people in the world. We can’t help it. Our profession requires that we sit at a desk all day, staring at a screen, typing words onto it. We earn those pesos by being at that desk, sitting still, and getting words on the page—so isn’t it time we got up and did something?
Dancing gets you moving, in more ways than one. It gets your body moving, gets you doing something you’ve maybe never done before, and gets your body into a groove that’s nearly opposite of what you were doing at your desk. More than that, it gets your brain moving. Instead of thinking of plots and characters and setting details, it’s now focused on beats, rhythms, and choreography. Instead of not thinking about your body at all, now you’re completely focused on it. Now you’re teaching it to move (sometimes in ways it didn’t know it could). Now, you’re getting into a completely different realm of thinking.
It’s a break for your mind, a chance for you to think about something completely different, an exercise both for your body and your brain—and those are usually the best ones available.
For me, it had to be a different kind of dance. I didn’t want to learn ballroom, I’m not fond of Latin, but I do have roots in India—and that made belly dancing the ideal choice. You’ll have to decide on your own style of choice, but I urge you to try it. Get up and dance. Move your body in a way you’ve never done before. Awaken muscles you didn’t know existed. It’ll be good for you.
Oh, and as an aside, you might even get better at describing spatial distance between your characters, once you get used to dancing in a group.
Associate Editor, etc.