As my thoughts turn to today’s Boston Marathon and my own time at the keyboard and on the road, I think about how writing and long distance running are alike….
1. Both invite the question Why? from people. Though the reasons may be as varied as writers and runners themselves, each nurtures a process not unlike the other: struggle, focus, and accomplishment.
2. Both provide coveted time to clear the noise (outside and inside our heads), and focus on the task. Ideas flow.
3. Both require digging deep, overcoming doubt, envisioning the end result, and striving for the finish line (which may include cheering crowds, coffee, or quiet smiles).
4. Both often happen in the quietest hours long before dawn or well into the night.
5. Both require the stamina and patience to see things through, neither happening quickly nor without attention to details.
Being a slow runner, it takes me twice as long to reach the finish line, not unlike my blooming status as a writer – things happen slowly, with lots of extra thought about the how and why of what I’m doing. But at the end of the day (or long before sunrise), I realize whether it’s fingers to keyboard or shoes to road, the process requires the same dedication, patience and focus as the fastest runners and most successful writers…. the finish line always in sight!
We each have our mark to leave. Write on. Run on.
Good running today, Boston Marathoners! May the wind be at your back and the memories bring new joy to heal last year’s sorrow.