Wednesday, June 3, 2009

If you started writing...

I'm a long distance runner. I ran track and cross-country in college, and I've run two marathons since. I'm currently training for the next. Distance running fills a void for me, because I find myself with little time in my day-to-day life for the daydreaming that is, I think, an essential part of writing. A nice six-mile run gives me the chance to go internal for a bit, let my mind wander.

I have a Nike t-shirt I wear that says: "If you started running when you started talking about it, you'd be done by now". It's true, the hardest part of running is often stopping, finding athletic socks, my iPod and my keys, and making it out the door. I love to talk running (obviously), but all the anecdotes from the past don't count for much if I don't hit the streets today.

Writing is the same - it's often easier to talk about than to do. It can be much more fun to tell someone your story's plot and to describe your beloved characters than to sit at your keyboard by yourself re-writing that damn paragraph four times because it just doesn't work quite right. And just like with running, there are a million other distractions that can keep you from getting out the proverbial door. When I hit a rough scene, I sometimes find myself thinking, "Wow, I should really put a load of laundry in/tidy the living room/start my homework/go for a run/update my blog".

I think I'm going to tape a post-it note to my computer that says, "If you started writing..."

3 comments:

Tess said...

this post is a little painful for me to read because I'm currently blog surfing instead of plotting...

the truth hurts, but it's good to get a kick in the pants. thanks :)

Ana V. said...

I think we can procrastinate what we do not want to do or want to face fairly well. I am trying to get out of doing that. Face what I do not want to do and just do it, especially if it is something we find difficult. I have to definitely sit down and start writing the romantic suspense novel I want to write...otherwise it will never get done.

morrow said...

SO true! I have to force myself to both run or exercise and write. Funny thing it is easy to force myself to run which hurts is tiring physical etc than to sit and write!