I do love a good metaphor, and there are so many aspects of this one that seem spot-on to me.
Running and writing. Lacing up your verbal shoes, doing some warm-up sprints across the paper. Working toward this goal, this race, this project, a little bit every day. Training for it, practicing, getting stronger, building stamina.
Also, a good breakfast goes a long way with both pursuits.
But the thing that's ringing most true in my mind these days is sustainability. A runner has to take these steps now, and also those steps farther down the path, and then yeah, those last few waaaaaay at the end of the track. All from the same person, the same legs, heart, and lungs.
The question I ask a lot is, how can I make sure I get my work done today? And part of that question is, how can I make sure I also work tomorrow?
I've been working in fits and starts lately, and believe me, it's not the way I like to write. I do best when I get into a groove, a good pace, a reliable speed. All this go-stop-go leads to brain cramps and exhaustion and not my happiest moods.
So maybe it's time to click on Chariots of Fire for some inspiration. Time to think like a runner, to train for endurance. To push through the weariness, but to keep all those joints loose and easy. The balance that keeps me going now, and still on my feet farther down the road.
Kindness helps. Letting go is good. Focusing on the finish line, yes. And a few good cheerleaders waving (or sharing coffee)... that's some of the best encouragement of all.
Writing is nothing if not a long-distance race. -- Betsy Lerner, from her book The Forest for the Trees