Friday, September 25, 2015


Since I'm not doing capoeira, I have more free time on my hands, which gives me the kick in the pants I need to work on my writing. So, hooray? It occurred to me that with five year of practice, how much could I improve? Would I get "as good" as I was at capoeira? Better? But that leads down a thorny philosophical and practical path ... First, how do you compare the two realms? It's easy enough to say that Abby is as good at karate as Beth is at capoeira: They're both martial arts with some sort of ranking system. Maybe it's not 100% precise, but at a rough level it will do. You could maybe even say that Cassandra is as good at capoeira as Dionne is at chess. While they are very different sorts of activities, chess players, too, are ranked. But how does Evangeline's skill at tennis compare to Fabiola's at oil painting? Unless they're both utter novices, or at the very top of their field, where would you even begin? Second, I estimate that I spend about 8 hours a week doing capoeira. I don't suddenly have eight free hours; some of that time has been replaced by doing workouts I have no particular commitment to. (I've gone to a few gymnastics classes; they make a great rebound relationship.) Should I spend 8 hours to make it equivalent? What about the writing I already do, or is counting composing an email as "writing" as desperate as counting "walking a block to the drugstore" as exercise? Second.five, I am planning on doing NaNoWriMo this November. If I aim for the minimum 50,000 words, that's 1,667 words per day. At the rate I write, that's more than 2.5 hours per day, or almost 20 hours a week. That's assuming no days off, mind you. (I am hoping that exhaustive outlining will bring this number down.) Third, I started capoeira with zero experience in any martial art, and I am not starting as a writer with zero experience, so after five years you would expect my writing skills to be higher than the equivalent of a green-yellow cord. (I'm still not sure how this writing ranking system would work. Is, like, Morrissey the lowest cord and a Pulitzer Prize-winner a mestre?) Fourth, I need a better schedule. Group exercise works for me not because I'm an extrovert who just loves people! but because it makes me show up. I like the Shut Up and Write meetup for that reason, but I don't think that's a viable solution for seven days a week. Well, no answers, except: (1) I guess I can tell you in five years. (2) Less time watching kittens on the internet would free that time right up. (2.5) Although not that much time. (3) I'd like to think I outrank Morrissey now. (4) This is one way the irregular schedule of a professor is actually a problem.

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