I’m not the most athletic gal in the world (by far!), but one thing I can do is run. There are no balls or rackets or rules involved; it’s just me and a pair of shoes, putting one foot in front of the other. It sounds easy and fun, right?
Yes … and no. ;)
It’s easy and fun when I begin a run. I have all the energy and motivation in the world to get myself out the door and to hit the pavement. Somewhere near the middle of the course though, my body starts feeling its age. My lungs cry out for more oxygen, and I want to give up because the finish line seems so far away. Toward the end of the run, my legs threaten to quit, and every step I take requires a great amount of mental concentration. When I finally reach the end, I rejoice not only because I’m done, but also because I’m reminded of why I ran in the first place. I feel stronger, and all the hormones coursing through my body make me happy.
I realized running and writing have a lot in common. I recently started a new book, the second one in my Spark Brothers series. After a few days of brainstorming and plotting, I had outlined the whole story, and even written the blurb for it. I opened up a new document and dove in, writing the first two chapters in one day. I was so excited about my progress, I couldn’t wait to continue writing the next day and the next. A week into the book though, I began feeling it. “It” being reality. ;) The gears in my mind started to slow down, and I had a hard time getting the words out. The initial spark I had had all but fizzled out. I started thinking this book would never get written (and I’d have a lot of readers upset at me)!
Boy, oh boy.
Fortunately, I’ve been through this process before, both in the areas of writing and running. I’ve come to expect the dreaded middle of a book. This is where I need to remind myself that I’m in this for the long haul, that I’ve faced and overcome this hurdle before, and I just need to take things one step—even one page, paragraph, or word—at a time.
Writing a book is like running a marathon. It requires commitment, patience, and guts. So much guts! ;) But the experience is also exhilarating and worthwhile.
What have you done in your life that’s taken the dedication and hard work similar to that of running a marathon? How did you persevere? Please share in the comments below!
Giveaway: I’d like to give away one digital copy of a book from my backlist (boxed sets not included). Two winners will be randomly chosen from the comments below. The giveaway will remain open until midnight on Sunday, May 27th.