So, in college (university), my musician friends hardly ever took care of themselves physically. They never went to the gym, they never went for a run on the streets. They just stayed in their building, singing, playing instruments or composing. And the theatre folks were pretty the same way.
But, you see, this is a problem. Artists need to keep active, too. I know I do, so I go running (especially if it’s raining).
Here’s my basic list of reasons why all artists (and everybody else, too) should get and stay active:
- Stress relief
- Rid self of emotional toxins (could mean crying–which is conveniently ‘hidden’ by sweat)
- Rid body of other toxins
- Find clarity of mind
- Distract self from difficulties in life (which may be the same thing as stress relief for some of us!)
- Increase creativity (once the other things have been done, creativity often improves–mine is exponentially boosted after a run!)
- You’ll probably live longer to stay creative for more years
Of course, running isn’t for everyone. But I want to take this moment to encourage every person out there to get in some activity of some kind. Try out a bunch, if need be, until you find the one that works for you. One that will allow you to clear your mind, rid yourself of the emotional toxins, and get in the right place mentally as you work on getting where you want to be physically. And just because you used to always hate running or walking or swimming, doesn’t mean you still do. Give it a week or two…just try it out. You might be surprised. I know I was (having been a former hater of running).
Bonus for writers of any kind (songs, novels, scripts, etc.): Every time I go running, I come home with solutions for problems in plot-lines, ideas for character improvement, or new song ideas.