On your marks…get set…go write! (Part two)
Hey everyone, welcome to part two of my three-part series. If you haven’t read part one yet, it’s here. Anyway, hope you enjoy this next installment. 🙂
Running the Race
“There is a moment in every race. A moment where you can either quit, fold, or say to yourself, ‘I can do this.'”
– Gatorade Advert
So, you’ve prepared yourself for the ‘race’. You’ve read all the books you can read (within reason) and you’ve kept your stress levels to a minimum. But now that you’re in that starting lane, the finishing-line seems so far away, and there’s so much work involved.
And then the gun goes off!
Don’t panic! There are plenty of tips and hints that will get you to that finish line, and I’m just going to write a few of them here. As before, ‘runner’ and ‘writer’ are pretty mch interchangeable. 🙂
1.) Have a hydration plan – it’s all well and good if you’re doing a short race, say 100m (short story or poem), but what if you have a longer race (a novel or collection of work)? You need a certain amount of water at certain times of the race; it’s no good to only pace yourself. You have to take ‘breaks’ from your writing. Now I’m not saying that short stories are easy, but what I am saying is that novel writing is (generally) longer, meaning that writers can soon run out of steam. So be like runners who drink water throughout the race. Take breaks, and don’t manically write until you’ve finished your project.
2.) Use other runners to keep yourself going – if and when you feel tired after a long hard slog of writing, it’s a good tactic to keep to the pace of other ‘runners.’ What I’m saying is that writing groups and forums can help you along, and can make you feel refreshed so you can make it to that finish line. Just remember that other writers need you just as much as you need them – a word of encouragement or advice can mean a lot, even if you never see its outcome. Pace yourself.
3.) Break the race down – instead of running a full 15 kilometer race, why not ‘break it down’? Try to think of it as three 5km sections instead, or even five 3km sections. Now, back to the writing aspect: it can be far easier and less daunting if you break your project into little sections. For example, maybe you could write 3000 words a day, or another way is to write only 2 chapters a day. Don’t think of it as restricted though; write as little or as much as you like; whatever suits your style and timetable. Whatever you decide, doing this will make you feel good when you’ve reached every small target, and can make the whole project much less stressful.
4.) Enjoy the experience – no matter how many projects you’ve done, you have to enjoy what you’re doing. It’s no good running just because you’re good at it, or because other people have told you to. Similarly, writers shouldn’t write for the sake of writing. They should revel in creating a piece of prose or poetry because they simply love to do it, not just because they’re good at it. Runners enjoy what they do, and so should writers.
Thanks for reading part two of my series, and I hope this was up to the same standard as the first. 🙂 I always welcome comments, suggestions, likes, and followers. 😉 Part three should be available to read either Monday or Wednesday, depending on how busy I am. Thank you for dropping by!
“Get out there and do what you love!”
– Kara Goucher