The more I think about it the more I realize how much writing and running have in common.
I like to say that I do both but the truth of the matter is that I’m not fast enough to be a runner (not yet anyways) and in the past two months I’ve barely written anything.
So now that my kids are back in school it’s time to get back into my own routine. Though during the summer I’ve only managed to keep up with running the time has come to get back into writing.
And so to compel me to write – which is so difficult because I’ve been out of it for such a long time – I am employing talking about one to get me to do the other.
So here are the reasons I think running and writing are alike:
1. The more you do it the better you get at it.
Writing and running are not things you can merely think about. You got to get out there do the leg work (or arm work) and there are no substitutes. The more you do the better you’ll get, the faster and more efficient. It’s just the way it works and if you’ve never done either before you’ll most likely have no idea what I’m talking about.
2. Once you get out of the habit of writing it’s that much more difficult to get back into.
Last year I didn’t run for four months. I had a good reason for about a month but the longer I was out of it, the longer it took me to get back in. Same thing with writing. Only there is never an excuse. Ever. There is never enough time but you have to make the time and the longer you don’t write the longer it takes to get back into it.
3. Running and writing are two forms of exercise
Running – a body exercise
Writing – a mind exercise
4. Some days will not produce the best results (warning: this is an understatement)
Some days you’ll write, write, write and keep writing, you’ll look at your results and you’ll wonder why you ever decided to be a writer in the first place.
Some days you’ll give running your best but you’ll have no idea why your body couldn’t keep up with itself.
The good news is that by keeping this in mind you should become less discouraged knowing that it is all a part of the ride.
5. Some days will bring wonderful surprises.
You’ll start out writing empty thoughts and all of a sudden a spark for a story will set your mind ablaze with ideas. Days like this make the painful ones worth the suffering.
This happened to me a few days ago while running. I set out on a 5km journey. Somewhere around 2 km I realized that it would suit my schedule to run the 10km I was supposed to run later in the week. At around 3 km I hear someone with megaphone say “way to run to the rally lady!” (what rally was he talking about?) At around 4 km I hit the full blown demonstration.
Ok, running into a mob of a few thousand people was more frustrating than fun but it did give me a bit of writing material!
So that’s it. Writing and running, just keep at. Force yourself if you have to. But don’t stop. And if you do be sure to get back into it as quickly as possible.