Saturday, March 1, 2008

Bellydancing Your Way to a Newbery

Bellydancing Your Way to a Newbery
by Cynthia Reeg

Here's my theory: A healthy writer is a happy writer, and a happy writer is a productive writer. And a productive writer will inevitably become a successful writer. I know. I know. You want to understand how bellydancing fits into the equation? Let me explain.

Blood flow to the brain, as well as various other body parts, is an essential element in writing. The more vigorous your blood flow, the more easily creative ideas start leaping from your brain to your fingertips and onto the page. It's really as simple as that. (Well, perhaps not quite that simple, but just work with me here.)

Writing in and of itself is a sedentary endeavor. Hours and hours plopped down in a chair can slow circulation to a crawl. Too soon your brain turns to sludge and your story comes to a standstill. How to remedy a coach potato brain? Get moving!

I know. I know. This is your writing time, you tell me. And there's too little of it to begin with. But sitting in your chair with your brain in melt down mode, hoping and praying that it will start up again as you blankly stare at the page, will not do the trick.

Bolt out of that chair and move those feet. And arms and legs. The more of you that you can get moving the better. If you've some housework to do (what do I mean "if"—just work with me here again,) then grab that vacuum and start hoovering like a robot on overdrive. Or shoot out the door and pick up the pace. Lap the block a time or two.

If the weather's bad, pop in an exercise video. Lift that leg. Tighten those abs. Or better yet, tune in some funky beats on the radio and tear up the rug in the living room.

TA-DA! This is when the bellydancing option comes into play. Bellydancing--the ultimate blood-stimulating workout. From the tips of your toes to the top of your gyrating head, you'll feel new life returning to your sluggish torso. Who cares if your shimmy is a little shaky today? It's all for a literary cause.

Essentially, it all boils down to this. Exercise whenever and however you can. The American Heart Association lists a number of amazing benefits from exercise in addition to increased energy.*

Look and feel better. (Wouldn't this come in handy when accepting your Newbery Award?)

Increase strength and flexibility (Think how many more books you could sign at your Newbery Book Signing.)

Reduce stress and tension. (Exactly what you'll need when you're behind schedule in meeting your editor's deadline for the sequel to your award-winning Newbery book.)

So the bottom line for a healthy, happy writer is to stay in shape—both literally and physically. Amp up your exercise mode, and your writing is sure to reap benefits as well. Think how much faster you'll be able type with Terminator arms. (Please, just work with me here.)

The End

*Cynthia Reeg is the author of Gifts from God and Kitty Kerplunking, both by Guardian Angel Publishing.

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