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Writers are not generally active, outside of their heads. Leaving aside the counter-examples: Hemingway and his rifle and sea rod, Dervla Murphy’s tireless roamings, writers take their preferred exercise between their ears.

But some of us need exercise to write – we need to oil the muscles of the body to release the cogs of the brain into creativity. And we find our own routines, dreaded and dreadful, necessary, monotonous, beloved, despised, but always a part of the process that leads to substance: the sestina, the article the tagline, the apologia …

My current exercise (demon to be exorcised, ritual to be completed, wretched wheel in which my base mind runs like a hamster) is Crossfit. And I do it so I can write, and I write so I can do it, and the worm swallows its own tail (or tale) until the world ends.


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