April 18, 2021
VanderMeer gym

Jeff VanderMeer: “Every hour I put into the gym, I get five creative hours out of it.”

I’ve been reading some back issues of Locus Magazine lately. The April 2018 issue has a great spotlight on Jeff VanderMeer. The piece naturally focuses on Jeff’s thoughts about his latest projects, his written work being turned into film, and about how he feels about and reacts to his career having moved up another level.

The most interesting bits, for me, were parts where he talks about his daily process; and a few “hacks” that he has discovered, that help his productivity and creativity.

One hack is something he’s done to make space in his day for short story writing, which he still loves to do. He keeps a notebook next to his bed. He writes in it every night, for 15 minutes, before going to sleep. Over the course of the year, he builds up some short stories that he can send out.

Another thing that he says is valuable to his creativity is fitness. Here’s a quote:

As you get older as a writer, you have to take steps to protect yourself. I don’t really drink anymore. Not even social drinking. I’m never up past midnight.

I’m at the gym every other day. Those things go a long way. I feel like every hour I put into the gym, I get five creative hours out of it. Even on days when I don’t feel like going, I go, because it gives a good return.

Locus Magazine April 2018 50th Anniversary Issue

Image credit: Keyan Bowes via Wikimedia Commons. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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Daniel LaPonsie

Daniel is a writer and runner. He was born in west Michigan (where the north begins and the waters run pure). He currently writes, runs, and works in beautiful Tennessee.

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