I’m a runner and a writer. I started running before I took my writing seriously. Through the years I’ve discovered how similar running and writing are to me and why I feel so passionate about them:
Running – To be a runner, I had to train. In the early hours of the morning, no matter the weather, no matter how I felt. There’s no quick fix to getting fit, it takes sacrifice, time and effort to become a runner.
Writing is hard. Without practice it will always remain challenging. I write every night. Whether it’s for an hour, whether I’m tired, whether the words flow or not. A little adds up. I managed to write a novel this way.
Running – Setting goals for myself helps me to become a stronger runner. I select races I want to run and start training. I visualize how I’d like to do in the race. On race day, I give it my all, no matter the circumstances. There’s no better feeling than reaching the end of a race, totally spent, and receiving a prized medal to wear proudly.
Writing – I’ve journalled for years. I wrote short stories and penned a few poems. It took me a long time to commit to writing a novel. But once I did, nothing stood in my way from reaching my goal.
Running – Years of running has taught me how to plan my runs. Arriving on time to ensure I’m not stressed before a training run or race. Laying out my running gear at night before races. Ensuring my nutrition is on par leading to a big race. Keeping track of all my runs, race times, how I feel during or after a run helps me to identify and prevent problems as they arise.
Writing – I’m a plotter. It takes me a long time to come up with story ideas, characters, plot development, arcs. Everything is well-documented in an A4 book from visual pictures of my characters, their dress style, settings and loads of research.
Running is physically taxing. I need to take a nap after a race or before an afternoon training run to ensure that my body is rested and recovers from the strain of running. Rest days between runs are vital. I cross-train with swimming that uses different muscles and aids recovery.
Writing – I can’t write well if I don’t have sufficient sleep. Creativity is a mental game and very draining. Without power naps I can’t function optimally. Some people write well into the early hours of the morning, I’m not one of them.
Running – Training has resulted in me finding a rhythm when I run. It arrives after the 3rd km, when I settle into a pace and feel light on my feet. This is the moment when I know I can go on and on and do well on a training run or race.
Writing – I’ll say it again. Writing is hard. It takes patience to sit in front of a computer screen and stare at an open document with only a few words appearing, only to be deleted due to writer’s block. But then there are moments where I’m on a roll, where my fingers fly on the keyboard and I’m in a dance of passion! I love that flow!
Running – I’m a lone runner. As much as I love running with others, I don’t like talking when I run. I run best on my own. I mentally speak to myself on runs when I encounter hills or feel tired. I remind myself how well I’m running, how far I’ve come and how I can push just a little more to get to the end.
Writing requires solitude. I have to be alone, in my study, writing. Some writers like to listen to music or have others around and function well this way. Not me. I enjoy the quiet, it’s the only way I can produce good writing. Sometimes I go to a cabin or a studio with a fabulous view and do nothing else but write, and that’s when I feel alive and the words multiply.
Running – reminds me constantly how far I’ve come. From being a non-exercise person with unhealthy habits, who decided to take up a sport that totally transformed my life, one step at a time. What I put into running, all the hours, training, planning, motivates me to keep running no matter how many setbacks I endure.
Writing – I’ve journalled for years. I love to read. That’s where my dream of becoming a writer took shape. What started as a fantasy of writing stories has turned into a reality for me. I’m a Romance Writer and soon to be published Author. Writing is my calling, my passion, my future.
Running has allowed me to meet wonderful people who I wouldn’t have met otherwise. I’ve made loads of friends through the sport. I enjoy their company, socializing and hanging out at my running club or at races.
Writing – I first joined the West Coast Writers’ Circle to discipline me in writing regularly. Then I joined a Small Writers group that offered support and guidance in producing creative stories. Next I joined the Romance Writers Organisation of SA (Rosa) where I found my tribe and finally committed to writing my first romance novel. I love socialising with writers. They inspire me and are always willing to share their wealth of knowledge.
Running – At the beginning of my running journey, I recall how hard it was to run 5kms with no walk breaks in between. I cried in frustration because I couldn’t attain it. I was so impatient and expected it to happen fast. It took over a year of consistent training before I got there.
Writing – I was disheartened when other writers were able to write an entire story with just a writing prompt. There I was struggling to string words together. It took me twice as long to come up with something and felt it was never good enough. I thought I was a failure and was close to giving up. But I didn’t, I kept persevering. Miracles happen when you don’t give up.
Dreams come true
Running – I admired runners, especially how effortlessly they ran. I wanted to run like them, but never thought I would be a runner. I never thought I could be good at exercise or any sport for that matter. I wasn’t brought up that way and starting so late in life was like a dream come true. Now I can’t imagine doing anything else!
Writing was always my dream career. Yet for so many reasons and bad choices, it evaded me. But the fire I felt for writing wouldn’t die. I found my way back and I know it’s all I want to do. A published Author is what I’ll be, I have no doubt about that.
Running keeps me sane. I have a full-time job and a busy lifestyle. Being able to go for a run is what my body thrives on. The joy I feel, commonly known as runner’s high is always there after a run. Running makes me profoundly happy.
Writing – A day without writing my thoughts, without reading, without thinking about writing is a desert. I derive great satisfaction from my blogging journey that commenced 5 years ago. Fiction writing was always harder to break into, but now that I have what it takes, I plan on never stopping. Writing gives me purpose and there’s no greater joy.