I ran my marathon today (Sunday) so now I am brain dead and the rest of me is not much better so I’m not at all sure this post will make any sense. I’m not going to tell you how I did except to say my times sucked. But I finished and there were still folks coming in after me. And I’ve got a t-shirt and a finisher’s medal to remind me to NEVER ever do this one again.
But again I found the whole process to be comparable to writing –first off finishing is sometimes enough–whether it’s a book you’re writing or a story or a way too long race. You’re bound to learn something, sometimes, you learn more than you know at the time. You might not sell the book, but you’ll be familiar with the whole process of being excited to start, followed by long stodgy middles and ends that take too long (yes it really is like that race.) When you’re done, you’ll be much closer to learning how to fix that stuff. Yes, it can be tediously painful sometimes. You’ve learned so much already sometimes it seems like it’s better and less painful to just quit. But this is really one of those things you can’t shortcut.
The other very related thing I’ve figured out from this (and writing) is that sometimes the reward isn’t the reason for doing it. I have no clue what to do with a marathon finisher’s medal and suspect I never will. The t-shirt is okay but I could have bought a pretty nifty one and picked out the color and style for a heck of a lot less money. I had no hope ever of being in the top finishers and getting any of those rewards. I did it for the process–I wanted to do it with my daughter. And writing has to be that way too, in this economy and this publishing world. Don’t write a romance because everyone tells you romance sells, if you don’t like and won’t read romance. It has to satisfy something in you to reach that place in someone else.
Of course, I figure writing is related to everything you do as your experiences influence your writing.
Before I go, I want to just remind you that we are still in Domestic Violence Awareness month. It doesn’t get as much play in the media as Breast Cancer Awareness month (which of course, Oct is also.) but it is also very important as more women will be impacted by domestic violence then by breast cancer.