Healthy Writers Series: Exorcising Your Writing Fears With Exercise

By guest blogger Tania Dakka.

Bike riding in Mill Creek Park

Photo Copyright © Milli Thornton

Writing can be scary! Especially if you’re just starting out. You don’t know who to turn to for help. You rely on others for their opinions of your work. And you wait on someone else to tell you if your writing is OK.

Whenever you step into a world that’s full of established greats, you feel like you just can’t measure up. So you work quietly, behind the scenes, doing your best to get the approval of every reader around you—your family, friends, coworkers.

Build Yourself Up

Learn to trust and love yourself enough to seek self-gratification in what you do. Exercise can help you do that. Building your body builds confidence. Exercising as a regular practice will bleed over into your writing. Being active and achieving baby-steps fitness goals will boost your self-confidence—and that is the voice your readers will hear when you write.

Exercise Has Writing Side Effects

There’s a whole array of benefits that come with exercise. Let’s forget about trying to lose weight for now. Let’s concentrate on the benefits to what we love: our words.

Regular exercise boosts your mood, your immune system and your focus. People who exercise feel the benefits in their wallets, as well. Studies show people who exercise regularly earn 10% more than their non-exercising counterparts. They earn more because they’re sharper, more focused, and more confident.

Simple Moves You Can Make To Reap The Benefits


Exercise for fifteen minutes every day. That’s it. That’s all you need to do.

The moves you do don’t need to be complex. They don’t require equipment or a gym membership.

One of my personal faves is a three-minute round of shadow boxing. I crank up Cinderella Man by Eminem (the clean version) and duke it out with the wall. There is little as invigorating as pretending you’re beating your archenemy to a pulp.

If your archenemy is your inner critic? Well, what an excellent way to metaphorically kick its rear!

There are loads of exercises you can do to get your blood flowing. Just choose anything that’s pleasurable for you and do it to the best of your ability for fifteen minutes a day.

The point is to start somewhere. Fifteen minutes of walking will get your blood flowing nicely.

The Easiest Way to Develop the Fitness Habit

Now you’re armed with the know-how to boost your writing confidence. But you’ve got to get into that habit. Using an exercise session as a way to ease into your writing routine is an awesome way to maximize your efforts.

James Chartrand of Men with Pens touts the benefits of a pre-writing routine. These are ritualistic acts that you go through before sitting to write, thereby setting your frame of mind on “writing mode.”

Using exercise as part of your pre-writing routine guarantees two things:

1) That you will exercise several times a week (or maybe even every day), and

2) That you’ll reap the rewards of the feel-good hormones your body releases whenever you get your blood pumping.

Your confidence will be higher at the end of an exercise session! Use that time to pour your soul onto your screen. And then watch as your confidence exorcises your writing fears.

Can you commit to investing 15 minutes into your writing on a regular basis?

Tania Dakka

Tania Dakka


Tania Dakka is a Freelance Writing Project Master and fitness advocate. Get tips and lessons from her blog to eat clean and stay fit so you’ll produce the best work you have in you. Check her out at, Twitter (@TaniaDakka) and Facebook (Tania Dakka).

10 Responses to Healthy Writers Series: Exorcising Your Writing Fears With Exercise
  1. Annie Neugebauer
    Twitter: AnnieNeugebauer
    June 19, 2012 | 5:15 PM

    This is one of those things that I am constantly telling myself I need to do but never quite get around to. I totally agree with all of the benefits listed here; I just need to stick to it! Lately I have been taking steps towards a healthier, more active life, and I look forward to continuing in that direction.

    • Tania Dakka
      Twitter: TaniaDakka
      June 19, 2012 | 6:52 PM

      Way to go, Annie! You’ll get there! Baby steps are the only way to go:) Thanks for commenting – it’s great to hear that you’re on the right road!

  2. Carole
    Twitter: cjtreggett
    June 20, 2012 | 3:47 PM

    I find I’m exercising on a regular basis over the past several months having an exercise accountability buddy. We’ve never met in person and live very far from one another, but we check in with one another several times a week via email and cheer each other on. Works really well! Just as great having a writing buddy for accountability purposes 🙂 Really enjoyed this post, Tania 🙂

    • Tania Dakka
      Twitter: TaniaDakka
      June 20, 2012 | 5:53 PM

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! And keep up with the accountability – that’s an amazing tool you’ve found! Wishing you all the best and thanks for commenting!

  3. Lois
    June 21, 2012 | 2:16 PM

    I’ve recently begun “walking” with Leslie Sansone, and I have to admit that I’ve got so much more energy than I have in a long time. That’s one of the main reasons I’m doing it (although losing weight is right up there, too–and then keeping it off). Since I don’t currently work outside the home, I can go for longer than 15 minutes, but any amount of exercise will help build energy, stamina, and a sense of well being. I’m all for adding this to my pre-writing routine! 🙂

    Thanks for the encouragement, Tania! 😀


    • Tania Dakka
      Twitter: TaniaDakka
      June 22, 2012 | 10:57 AM

      That is so awesome! Keep up the great work, Lois! It really makes a difference – especially when we get used to sitting for SO long! Thanks for commenting and let me know how that pre-writing routine addition works out for you! 🙂

      • Lois
        June 23, 2012 | 10:54 AM

        I sure will! 🙂

  4. Dana Pittman
    Twitter: danapittman
    June 21, 2012 | 6:40 PM

    I love to run on my ideas and books. Especially since I like to outline. When I’m stuck I decide to “run on it”. Great post!

    • Tania Dakka
      Twitter: TaniaDakka
      June 22, 2012 | 10:58 AM

      Thanks for the comment, Dana! I’m glad you enjoyed the piece! I love the “Run on it” idea! Running is great for clearing the mind for creativity – those runner’s high hormones ROCK! Keep up the great work!

      • Dana
        Twitter: danapittman
        June 22, 2012 | 12:12 PM

        Thanks. Same to you. Have a great weekend!

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