Monday, June 22, 2020

The One Thing All Published Writers Have in Common

What do writers and runners have in common? Quite a lot, actually. But what’s the one thing all published writers (and experienced runners) have in common? HINT: It’s not “being published”.

Once upon a time, they were new to writing (or running)...

What do writers and runners have in common? Quite a lot, actually. But what’s the one thing all published writers and experienced runners have in common? And it’s not “being published” either. Once upon a time, they were new to writing (or running).

How I Started Running

Aside from running on the playground in elementary school or being forced to run laps in the gym during high school P.E., I didn’t run. My exercise consisted of walking, bicycling, jumping rope and trampolines!

In college, I took a fitness class every single semester after the required health class: aerobics, weight training, ballroom dancing, yoga, jogging, snow skiing, and swimming.

The only one I dropped out of was yoga. And that’s only because I was pregnant with my first child. Being 6 months pregnant sure makes it hard to do the cat pose and child’s pose. So I got an incomplete.

Jogging was a fun class. The teacher was also my weight training and aerobics teacher for those classes. He had lost over 100 pounds when he was in college and was super inspirational. He started running and didn’t even have the right shoes. So he wanted to help others so they wouldn’t make all the same mistakes he did.

I started out slow. Jogged some and walked some. I learned that walking at a fast pace actually gave me shin splints, so I picked up the pace even more and started running. My shin splints disappeared!

Now, I have run 2 marathons, 2 half marathons, about 5 or 6 10Ks, and over a dozen 5Ks, along with an 8-mile trail race and a 5-mile all-uphill mountain race. Funny thing is I jumped from my first race ever (a 5k where walkers were going faster than I was running) to a full 26.2 mile marathon in about a year and a half with no other races in between.

I blame my older brother’s death and Team in Training for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I signed up (and got free training) so that I could go to Alaska and run in my brother’s honor since he had worked in Alaska on a fishing boat one summer.

And that’s how I began running. One step at a time. But it was the first marathon that got me hooked on racing.

How I Started Writing

So what about writing? Well, let’s just say that the writing gene was in my blood when I was born. I think I was born with a pencil in my hand. I wrote all kinds of things all through school.

  • In 2nd grade, I wrote poetry. Short, silly poems, but I wrote them! 
  • In 4th grade, I wrote lots of short stories. 
  • In the 6th grade, I wrote short stories, poems, and even a play that I had the whole class perform during library time. 
  • In middle school, I wrote poetry. 
  • In high school, I wrote poetry and short stories. 
  • In college, I majored in creative writing and wrote poetry, plays, and a novel. 

But after I graduated, I had kids, got a full-time job, and stopped writing. A couple years later, I went back to college to get a degree in elementary education, where I fell in love with writing for children.

In 2009, I started writing for children and began to really take my writing seriously. I started a blog and took all kinds of courses. I haven’t looked back since.

Beginning Writer or Runner

Being a beginning writer or runner has its advantages. Yes, you’re new. You might not know the ropes. You probably begin races too quickly and start submitting manuscripts before they’ve been properly edited.

But you have grit, tenacity, a passion for learning. You want to grow and improve and learn the art of writing or the art of running.

Enthusiasm for your new passions is what helps you keep going until you hit your first milestone, and then your next, and your next, and your next. Pretty soon, you’ve learned all kinds of things and you’re no longer a beginner.

Welcome to the club!

When did you start running and writing? Let me know in the comments! Share your comment here.

Keep on keepin' on...



  1. Loved reading this post. I'm sorry about your brother! What a great motivation for running (and writing). Hugs!


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