Yesterday, I did some P90X core strength training with my friends. Today, I'm feeling sore every time I move, twist, bend, or do any other kind of movement. Probably because I've never actually done this particular workout, which is more than just simple crunches and other exercises I'm used to doing.
But with that lovely soreness comes the knowledge that my core is getting a workout, and with repeated usage of these muscles they are becoming stronger. Maybe someday I'll even have the female version of a six-pack. Maybe.
So why even worry about working the core muscles of my body? Because strengthening the core, not just abs, brings better flexibility, better body posture, lessens back pain, and can even help diminish love handles. The important part here, though, is that it's not just abs I'm working, it's also the back and side abs that create a balance of strength in the core.
Is there a core for writing? I believe, for me anyway, that following Gerald Lund's suggestions of the three E's, Edifying, Excellent, and Entertaining, is the core to good writing. If there's a core for writing, then there must be a way to exercise that core to make it stronger, and it comes with practice and learning.
But what happens if my writing is really edifying but not entertaining? Or what if the writing is excellent, but the flow of the book is just really boring and cheesy? Big problems arise when balance isn't achieved.
My first novel manuscript, which was thankfully never published, has a weak core, so unless I do some major revamping on it, it will likely stay on the shelf of my desk forever. My second novel, which did get published, has a stronger core, a better balance between these three things, but it's certainly not where I would like to be. I keep strengthening and practicing and using those core writing muscles so that each work I produce is hopefully better than the previous one. That is what strength training means to me.