Hi-didlee-day, a writer’s life for me.

And more often than not, that’s nothing to sing about.

Especially while maintaining a “normal life” (marriage, bills, house upkeep, raising children, impressing bosses at the old day job).

With the stress of trying to run my startup publishing company, keeping up with the “normal life” stuff, and working on three books, it’s bound to happen that I’m going to put on a little weight.

Over 40 pounds since February, to be exact.

I fit into none of my pants.

But how does a writer go about losing weight when the very antithesis of his/her existence is exercise and food truly is fuel for the brain?

The key is, a little app my wife discovered called Steps.


As long as you keep your phone on your person at all times, it tracks how many steps you’ve taken in a day. And the goal is always to take at least 10,000 steps a day.

When you consider that on an average workday, we take less than a thousand steps a day (assuming you work in an office), ten-thousand is a high bar to meet.

So, how do I reach 10,000 steps a day? First of all, allow me to dispel the notion that I meet this goal every day. But most day of the week I do. How?

I walk on my breaks and lunch at work instead of sit in my car or the break room. But I consider walks, by nature, a waste of time. That’s why I walk with a book. Everyone’s like, “I don’t know how you do that; don’t get hit by a car.”

First of all, I’ve learned how. It’s easier than you think. Second of all, I stay on the sidewalk. So unless someone’s reaching on the floorboard for that last french fry and runs me off the sidewalk, I’m sure I’ll be safe.

Writers should be the standard setters for weight loss. Why? Not because we have time – we don’t. But because by nature, we’re goal oriented. We function best under deadlines. That’s why this Steps app is the best for writers. It’s hard to call it a day if I haven’t reached my goal of 10,000 steps. Just the other night I had 1,500 more to go so I jogged in place by the bed while watching Parks and Recreation before crawling into bed.

Also, I think the healthier we are as writers, the more oxygen we’ll be getting to the brain and the more ideas we can come up with and energy we can must to knock out just one more chapter before bedtime.

Published by Andrew Toy

Writer when I'm not being a husband or dad. So mostly just a husband and dad.

8 thoughts on “Steps

  1. Excellent blog! Great advice. Writers do have a problem with not having enough exercise time. Running helps me free my brain and get creative ideas…probably like you said…the increased oxygen flow! But I can find so many reasons NOT to run…especially in the middle of edits!


  2. Nice post! I have a pedometer too and it does push me to get it done. But for me, I thinking walking is what makes it so I CAN write – I need that silence in my head to get ideas. In fact, when I am stuck my number one choice to get unstuck is to take a walk around the block. I’ve tried hiding in the pantry eating chips, working in a coffeeshop for a change of scenery, endlessly clicking through pinterest and facebook (OY!). All a waste of time. My walk has NEVER failed me – I come home physically refreshed with new ideas and inspiration.


    1. Love it! My problem is, when I walk, I don’t do it without distraction. I almost always walk with a book that I’m peering into.


  3. Actually, scientific research suggests that exercise and cognitive skills are positively correlated. I am too lazy to find the article that I read several years ago in grad school or filter through the plethora of Google results, but I definitely think it’s true. Speaking of grad school, whenever I would get stuck on a problem, I’d go into the stairwell by my campus office and run up and down the stairs a few times (1st floor to 7th floor) before returning to the issue at hand. Like April Eight says, it worked every time! In fact, I can’t understand how people can do challenging intellectual tasks without exercising regularly. The difference in productivity is too great to not exercise.


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