Thursday, September 29, 2016

Writers Run Toward The Finish Line

My wife finished a half-marathon within a minute of her time recorded last year in the same event, the only times she’s run such a distance.  She was glad just to finish, given she didn’t train as much as last year.  About an hour after she completed the race, aptly called Paine to Pain, what appeared to be the last runner crossed the finish line.  Almost all of the participants and their cheering squads had left and things were being packed up, but here came this woman chugging along and making sure she got to the end.  She may have fallen short of any goals she’d set for herself, but she showed determination and the triumph of will over exhaustion.  These runners are athletic models to the marathons and battles writers seek to overcome.

No matter how much you struggle as a writer, keep on persevering.  You will make it to the finish line.

Writers will get rejections, criticisms, and tough edits.  They will continue on.

They will get writer's block or feel they have reached a dead end.  But they’ll write again tomorrow.

They will feel exhausted from work, the burdens of daily life, and family obligations.  They’ll struggle to make money, they will get sad over a world gone to the crapper and they will confront the stages of life’s losses, changes, and challenges.  But they will keep on writing.

As the tall woman drove her lingering legs across the finish line that all other runners in the race had already crossed, she felt accomplished.  She also acknowledged she registered a poor time. Writers can be the same way, momentarily enjoying their work and seeing it as the best they could do under the current circumstances – and also keeping an eye on their true prize and expecting to improve and do better next time.  Even writers believe they wrote their best possible article, short story, or book, he or she never thinks of hitting their peak.  Tomorrow always brings the promise of more – and better writing.

This blog post may be of interest to you but I’m already thinking I could do better on another day. None of us are perfect so there’s always room for improvement.  I compete against myself to become the best possible writer I could be.  I learn from others, but I don’t feel fellow writers are competitors.  We all learn from each other – and make one another better at our craft.

Writers should set goals for themselves. The need to set deadlines for accomplishments.  They measure success by any number of metrics, including:

Money made from writing.
Number of people who read your stuff
People who are inspired by your writings.
How often you are published and by which media outlet.
Number of books published, by whom, and number sold
How well-received your writings are by the media.

But the real finish line or standard writers should go by is to have the courage, passion, and ability to pick up the pen – or keyboard – and keep looking to perfect their craft.  Good things will come the more you write.  Of course, writing is about quality and not quantity, but being prolific helps you improve.

You need to look back at your writings and see how you can improve. Experiment with the style and approach that you take.  Improve your vocabulary.  Incorporate elements other successful writers use.  Attend writing workshops and conferences.  Work with an editor.  Get others to provide feedback to your writings.

My style is this – write in a way that proposes new ideas while capturing the essence of a moment.  I like to put things into a context and give the reader a clear perspective on something.  I like to analyze things and ask far more questions than anyone could answer.  Through the process of inquiry, we may all get on the same page and look to find an answer or solution that the majority can accept or even embrace.  I’ll throw in some humor as well.  I write out of a deep conviction for truth -- to discover it, reveal it, and promote it.  If I can help another just with words, imagine what we all can do if we put our resources together.

There ae a lot of sports metaphors that we can apply to aspects of our lives, especially the art of writing.  But it seems like writing and sports are the opposite.  Writers don’t look like athletes and many athletes don’t become great writers or even readers.  Writers have muscles in their brain; athletes are conditioned and trained to compete and win.

But writers and runners or athletes certainly share these things in common:

·         They strive to be better no matter what they accomplish.
·         They spends hours at a time practicing, their passion.
·         They can be judged harshly -- or praised-publicly.
·         Millions of people can do what they do – but many won’t stick with it.
·         They believe in their abilities and are driven by a strong will.
·         They have discipline to stay focused and on track.
·         They celebrate a win, award, or accomplishment -- and then get back to what they need to do.
·         They both could benefit from having a therapist/mentor/coach.

No one remembers who won or didn’t finish the race this year, last year, or five years ago.  But those that participated remember everything, from their time and standing, to what it felt like not only to finish but to train in order to do well, to do their best.  Writers are preparing for their own half marathon right now, one word at a time.  Go for it!

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2016 ©.

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