Monday, June 23, 2014

On writing and running.

Rachel Toor brings us a lovely essay on the similarities between writing and running.
To her observations I'd add that both writing and running, at least in my particular case, demand continual, patient effort.  I am not a naturally gifted runner, and to get to the point where I can run several miles without injury has taken careful training over seven months.  Likewise, if I wish to write well, I need to write every day.   I can't just sit down and write an essay any more than I could jump off the couch and run a marathon.
In both disciplines there are junk miles.  In running, miles that you run just to practice; in writing, sentences you write just to keep the thoughts from freezing and seizing up.  It takes time to find my stride in both running and writing.
Yet improvements happen in small invisible increments, until one day, the flow is effortless and beautiful, and I run miles without thinking faster than I have, and the words cover the page.
Today's plan has me doing a "fun workout", for which the authors of Train Like A Mother suggest something like soccer or cross-country skiing.  It'd be nice to play soccer, but look, I'm running because I don't have time for another sport (and also, no skills.)  So today I have a date with some heavy weights.
The apricots have ripened.

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