I do love to talk running (and racing and biking and swimming and spinning and kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding and now Jillian Michaels DVD’ing), but in this down time after my third full marathon, I have another kind of marathon in mind: a writing marathon!
Yes, I plan to spend the month of November attempting to write 50,000 words of a novel. I have always wanted to write a novel. Well, to be perfectly honest, I have always wanted to have written a novel. The actual writing work scares the heck out of me. But while the daunting task of writing an average of 1,667 words per day intimidates me, I will not let that stop me.
Thankfully, marathon training has taught me a lot that can be applied to writing a novel:
1. Setting concrete, measurable goals along the way to your main goal can keep you motivated.
2. If you want to grow as a person, do one thing a day that scares you. It’s okay. You might make mistakes, but you’ll learn along the way.
3. There is nothing more satisfying than completing an intimidating task.
4. You must put in the time and effort if you want to see results.
5. The goal for your first (writing) marathon is simply to finish. You cannot expect to “knock it out of the park” on the first try. [Do you see what a stellar writer I am, that I can so ridiculously mix running, writing and baseball metaphors? I consider it part of my freewriting training — just write, just put words on paper, and save the editing and fine tuning for later!]
Now, you might recall that, in spite of being a very logical lawyer, I still delight in seeing “signs” and good omens before a big race. Right after I wrote that list above, I looked up to see this:
While I don’t really believe it rained in Southern California and then had the sun come out at just the right time for me to see a sign, I do think that seeing that rainbow made a nice little reward for my taking the time to write about my big goal while my daughter played happily at the park.
Have you ever participated in National Novel Writing Month? (I’ve survived a few rounds of National Blog Posting Month but never attempted NaNoWriMo.) What kinds of challenges do you like to take on in the down time for your training?