writing/running – a laboured metaphor

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Like most writers, I’ve been smashing out stories for years now. Terrible nonsense, mostly, but hey, I’m in it for the writing. I actually enjoy the writing part, not just the fact of ‘having written’. Writing, if you bear with me on this, is like running with your hands! (or not…?) It’s not the worst idea I’ve ever had.

GRRM nicked this recently by it is the Divine Ms Parker who said it first and said it best.

The decision to make writing a hobby or a career is a bit like deciding to run marathons. Note I say ‘marathons’ in the plural sense. Training to run just one long-ass race is like deciding to write a book to help your business or career; a successful hair stylist/builder/doctor who writes a book on their area of expertise. They write the book, they sell it, done. It’s not as easy as all that, I know – writing any book can be tough but the process is different because the goal is different, just as training to run one race (to celebrate your 40th/50th/60th birthday or whatever milestone is different to making a decision to keep running every day for the rest of your life.

Choosing to be in it for the long haul means you have to come up with reasons, sometimes daily to get out there and train or to sit at the computer/notebook and write, write, write. We just have to remember that staring at the blank screen/page isn’t writing just as lacing on your trainers and eating chocolate in the darkened garage isn’t running. As much as it hurts sometimes to pound the metaphorical pavement, and by that I mean write a whole load of crap that no one will ever read, we have to do it, day after day. And there’s the bonus of having written.

{Please note – Running has less coffee, and as a rule, writing has fewer endorphin highs. Running has blisters, writing has ‘writer’s back’. Dress appropriately/buy the right shoes/chair/walk when necessary. Arguably, running and writing can both be improved by doing the other. You can write and run at the same time if you have a nifty desk with the running machine attached. Both are better if you do them daily. No one starts out ‘good’ at either. You get better at both by doing them. You can make a lot of new friends once you make an effort to join a writing/running community. You do get to a point where non-writing/running friends don’t appear to be making much sense.}

disclaimer- I don’t run unless something is chasing me.

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