Debut author Karen Legasy shares her tips on writing fitness

Being a published author of lesbian fiction, for me, is like a dream come true. It’s taken years of preparation to get to this point and now that I’m here, I want to stay in peak form.  Finding the right balance in my writing fitness regime is paramount to me. I write lesbian fiction because it helps to tell our stories, it’s good for my wellbeing, and I love it. The problem is, it can also be bad for my health—especially if I sit for long hours toiling over an uncooperative character or an unrelenting urge to finish a chapter.

 

It’s kind of ironic. As much as I love writing, getting my butt in front of the computer can sometimes be a struggle if I’d rather be doing something else. But once I get started, getting out of the chair can be painful if the words are flowing and I want to know what’s going to happen next. It would be too easy to keep writing and not get some physical exercise.

I believe writing fitness is so much more than just physical and is about finding the right balance to keep in creative shape. I have four pillars of fitness that are important for my writing regime.  

Foundational fitness is about mastering the craft of writing lesbian fiction and continuously looking for ways to improve. Reading works of other authors (i.e. Gerri Hill, KG Macgregor, Ann Roberts, Tracey Richardson, Karin Kallmaker, E.J. Noyes, Genevieve Fortin, Cade Haddock Strong, etc.) as well as texts on writing, taking writing courses, processing reader feedback, and networking are some examples. The learning never stops.

 

 

Financial fitness is the second pillar for me because I need to know that I can pay the bills. I’m a realist—writing lesbian fiction won’t make me much money. I’ve read numerous financial planning books over the years and consider them to be a great asset for the writer’s toolbox. My motto has always been to try to spend less than what I make and save any left over for a rainy day.

Physical fitness is so important too because here I am again, dying to continue this blog article instead of taking a break. It’s too easy to just keep writing and stay put. The thing is, exercising is critical to my writing. Physical activity is not just about getting the blood flowing because a good run (more like trot for me) or bike ride always helps with plot development. That’s when things just seem to fall into place and I know exactly what I’m going to write next.

Emotional fitness is what I consider to be the cornerstone of my writing. I have to be in the right frame of mind to write and be happy writing. Then there’s the thick skin part. As a debut author, I was devastated when the first reviews were not as I hoped they would be. Thank goodness I had the support of Bella Books! I especially wanted to kiss Linda and Jessica Hill for their kind words of encouragement when I felt like I was going to die. Thankfully, the reviews improved and readers have enjoyed My Forever Hero. Whew. I’ve learned to become more Zen, like my frog.

 

I write the type of books I like to read and hope to take readers on a journey with me. This time with My Forever Hero it was to Australia and into the hearts of two women who save each other. My next book, Kindling for the Heart, is a cozy winter romance where sparks fly in the northern forests of Ontario. It will be released this July, just in time to cool off from the hot summer sun.

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