Marathons take energy, focus, stamina and work. Grueling work. So does writing.
My wife Jocelyn had this crazy idea that WE should run a marathon. In 2007, in our mid-50’s we followed Forrest Gump’s lead, started running and never looked back.
Over the next ten months we ran thousands of kilometers in training. Up hills. Down hills. Snow. Rain. Heat. Thirst and hunger. Yes, hunger is a constant companion of marathoners. Energy bars, water, good shoes, dry socks, perseverance and endurance are a marathoner’s greatest assets. Plus being a little crazy.
After 10-mile and Half-marathon races for practice, Jocelyn and I completed all 42.3kms of the International Marathon in Niagara Falls, Ontario – October 2007. We crossed the finish line with the last stragglers after nearly six hours of running. Injured, but we finished. And we have the medals to prove it.
Metaphor For Writing
In 2012 I took Ann Lamott’s lead, started writing and never looked back. My metaphor for writing is a marathon.
The writer’s life is a marathon not a sprint. Writing is a long devotion in the same direction. Day after day, we put fountain pen to paper and write. Perseverance and stamina are a writer’s friends.
Long distance runners know that a marathon is not a series of sprints. Marathons must be paced. Settling early into a pace that allows for the greatest possibility of finishing is strategic.
A writing life needs to be paced. Measure your stride. The natural energy of an enthused start and early successes should be tempered by a finish line that is never in sight until the last moments of a run. Finishing is the goal but stride is the means to achieve the goal.
Long Distance Writing
Writing, like marathon training for the most part, is lonely. Writers work alone with their ideas, space, and hopes. We feel the loneliness of a long distance runner.
Writing is lonely however publishing is like long distance racing. Racers are never alone. Other runners, water station attendants and those wonderful cheerleaders with signs and noisemakers spread out over the 42.3km courses, encourage racers.
Fellow writers are in the same race. Readers of our blogs, posts, books and anthologies are like water station attendants. People who comment on our posts or review our books are like the encouragers along a race route.
A Writer’s Hope
A writer’s hope is to engage, entertain, inform, inspire and in some small way make the world a better place for our readers.
People who decide to become writers because of something they read of our writing are the ones who give us hope in our marathon.
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Hope grows here. I write to share stories that inspire people, build faith in Jesus, and offer lasting purpose. If this material is helpful to you, please follow me.
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