Saturday, March 22, 2014

Writers Who Run: Overcoming Defeat

We all encounter pain. We must endure it. If we don't we'll never see the sunny rainbow after the storm.

How to rise above the pain || overcoming writing rejections | overcoming running injuries | overcoming defeat

Writers get discouraged, receive rejections, have bad reviews, face writer's block, and more. Runners face discouragement, get injuries, have slow runs, lose races, and more. Let's face it. Life is hard. But we must rise above the pain and endure to the end. Else how will we ever see our dreams fulfilled?

Writing Discouragement

Several weeks ago, I had a "review" of one of my mss come back LOW, so low it made the limbo look pleasant. This is a ms I have been working on and revising for well over a year. My knowledgeable and respected critique group said it was submission-ready.

But a 4 out of 10 ain't ready! Pain and doubt and discouragement seeped in. I almost cried. It's not every day one little opinion of one little person (or organization) cracks the tough skin of a writer.

We are tough. We have to be so that the scratches won't hurt us. Apparently, on that day, that review was more than a scratch, it was a slashing gaping gash. After several minutes passed in agony, I remembered other critiques that ms had received prior. A 7 and an 8. My, I am good, after all. The story has merit and quality.

I'm not a loser writer and I can find a home for it one day. Must. Keep. Polishing. The pain of one bad critique is much like the pain of a bad knee after a run.

Running Discouragement

A couple weeks ago, I hurt my knee somehow. Felt fine during the run, but afterward? Not so much. I hobbled for a couple days, then decided to give it another go. Not smart. Made it worse. Actually hurt then.

How do you rise up above that kind of pain? You take time off. You go slow. You baby it with ice and muscle rub and plain old simple walking. I'm almost above the storm clouds. I'm starting to see the silver lining.

Does it hurt to stop what I love? Yes! Does it hurt worse knowing I have a 10k race coming up in two weeks? Yes! Will I rise above the pain? Yes! That means looking at the pain head-on. Acknowledging what needs to be done.

Slowing down, if that's what it takes.

Will I rewrite my story? Maybe. Will I finish my race last? Maybe. But one thing's for sure, I am a writer who runs. And I will rise above the pain. I will make every story and every run the best that I can. And the next day I'll make it even better. I will take time off when necessary. I will fulfill my dreams. And so will you.

What pain have you had to rise above recently?

Keep on keepin' on...


  1. You will revise and you will run your 10k. Because your a writer who runs and that's just what you do! Maybe the pain can even inspire an edit which will give it the final sparkle.

    1. Thanks, Lauri! And wouldn't you know it that I overworked my back last Saturday and suffered a lot of pain over the last two days. Went to the chiropractor yesterday and today I was actually able to run a little, about a mile and half total of a 4-mile workout. Didn't revise my story, but later in the day was inspired with a brand new idea for a magazine article. Fun!

  2. Just curious -- where are you getting critiques that rate on a 1 - 10 scale? Good that you manage to keep on going with both the running and writing.

    1. I probably shouldn't share that information about where the critique came from. One of them didn't actually use a number scale. It was from my local SCBWI contest and everyone who enters gets a simple rating sheet. There are about 7 different items listed: marketable, illustrateable, plot, etc. The judge can mark each item from a 1 to a 10. I averaged my score on that one and got a 7.

      I try to manage my writing and running. I'm trying really hard to make them not fight for my time and attention. Some days I write and some days I run. Ideally, I'd do both every day. The days I accomplish both, I consider myself blessed.

    2. Thanks, Christie. Our local SCBWI doesn't have anything like that.

  3. Christie, thank you for sharing! You've encouraged me.
    And you better rewrite the story and keep on running. :-)

    1. I aim to please and encouragement and inspiration is the name of the game.

  4. I love you sis. I just found out I have degenerative disk disease on C 4-5 in my neck. I am not sure what this means for me long term, but one thing is sure, you live through certain things that are painful and you come away appreciating things that perhaps had gone forgotten.

  5. Appreciation, thankfulness, and gratitude definitely make life sweeter. Keep me posted on your condition as you find out more about it. Love ya! Hang in there!


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