I love it when activities in my life work together for good. That is the way I feel about my running and writing. One seems to feed the other. When I am out running, my mind clears and I relax. It is the time when I am most ready to listen. I’m not sure whether it is the endorphins kicking in, the fresh air, clearing my mind, or a combination of them all, but it works. Not only am I inspired in the spiritual realm, but I am also inspired in the natural everyday story lines that I need as a writer. The inspiration comes as I click off the miles.
Now, I have to say that getting an idea, although huge, is only a part of what it takes to make a story come to life. Here are some other elements where running and writing coincide.
First, if I only think about running but never go out and run, then running can never affect my health in a positive way. I have to make myself a schedule and stick to it to gain the benefits.
If I receive a worthy topic but never sit down to write, then the idea, no matter how brilliant, will go by the wayside. Stories don’t write themselves, so I have to commit time to bring them to life. This usually means making a schedule of some sort to help hold myself accountable. The time of day does not really matter, but consistency does. I may have to try several different times before I hit on the right one. Giving up is not an option if I am going to finish a story.
Second, when it is time for me to run, there are always well-meaning distractions suddenly popping up. I could use them to get out of running, and I have many times. However, most of these issues can be handled later or by just leaving my phone on silent. I have to decide: What is more important in that moment?
When I sit down to write, the same thing happens. I remember a call I need to make, the laundry needs attention, I need to start lunch or supper, I forgot to order something on Amazon, the phone rings, Facebook or Gmail calls my name, and so on. Learning how to say no is never an easy task, but it is a necessary one, if I am committed to writing a story. If it is a true emergency, handle it. But if not, stay glued to your seat until your prearranged time is up.
Third, it will take time and practice to become a good runner and a great runner. When I first started running, I huffed and puffed because I was so out of shape and barely walked a mile. Nevertheless, I started slow, encouraged myself, and added to my distance little by little. Now I have completed over 40 5Ks and 3 half marathons in the last 2 years. Persistence is the key.
Yes, if we want to become any good at writing, persistence is the key. Some days, words seem to fly onto the page because my thinking is clear and inspiration is coming easily. But there are many days when it seems as though I have to pull as hard as I can to get even a little written down. Then, I have to remind myself, with anything, you have your good days and bad. And then I tell myself, you are not giving up because of several bad days.
Lastly, running is always better when I have a buddy who can go at my pace. When I have someone to run with me, I am more likely to finish the race.
Writing is best done with others to support you. I need the accountability and the encouragement others can bring. Whether it is a local writer’s group or something online, I need the input others can give to help make my writing shine.
Running is a natural avenue into writing for me, but it may not be the right way for you. Today, find out what helps inspire you to commit to finish the story you were designed to write. When your piece is completed, you’ll be glad you did.
Featured image by alal.