What Running Teaches Me About Writing

I’m “training” for a half-marathon in April.  And by training, I mean just trying to do more and longer runs than usual.  My husband and some friends are training in groups and I look at them a little longingly–they share a comraderie that comes from trudging through long and messy runs together, seeing each other improve over the months of training, keeping each other accountable.  But that’s just not for me. I really love the freedom that comes with running solo: all I have to do is tie on my shoes and I’m out the door–I decide where I’m going and how fast and how long.  It’s a lot like writing.

But, like writing, it is absolute hell for me to start.  I will do anything and everything to delay starting (laundry/dishes/e-mails to return/scones to bake).  But once I actually get out the door, I love it–my head clears, I tune in to the world before me and life seems to make a little more sense.  Same with writing– once I commit to sit down and open up my document, there is little else in the world I’d rather be doing. Why in the heck,then, is it so torturous to start?!

At this point in the post I’d love to have an answer to that question, but I just don’t.  Maybe it’s the unknown that scares me and prompts my procrastination? Perhaps it’s lack of discipline?  I don’t know, but focusing on why doesn’t seem to help anything, so I’ve decided to apply the same “training” program to my writing and see where that takes me. Instead of worrying about what I will write, I’m just going to “tie on my shoes” and hit the ground and see where I go.

After all, there are very few times I have regretted taking the time out for a run, and I’ve never regretted sitting down to write.

About elizabethcarden

A wife, mom and writer of historical fiction (but sadly, not of thank you notes).
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