Why Running = Writing

So I wrote this YA novel called ULTRA.  It’s about a 12 year-old boy who runs a 100-mile footrace in order to escape a terrible family secret.

Here’s the book in one sentence: “Why face your troubles when you can outrun them?”

Hoo boy!  Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?  You bet!

Anyway, while writing that book (to be published by Scholastic in September, 2013), I learned that the act of writing a novel and that of running 100 miles are similar in a lot of ways.  For instance:

1) Runners don’t need much gear to do their thing.  Just a pair of running shoes, a tee-shirt and shorts.  Writers don’t need much either.  A pen and some paper, a tee-shirt and shorts.

2) In running, there is a starting line, and then, some distance away, a finish line.  In writing, there is a blank page, and then, some distance away, a published story.

3) Runners suffer from shinsplints, cramps and blistered toes.  Writers suffer from writer’s block, writer’s cramp and blistered fingers.

4) Runners start out strong, and get weaker as they age.  Writers are exactly the same, only in reverse.

But do you want to know the most important similarity?  In both writing and running, the key to success is PRACTISE.  Log enough miles, and you’ll eventually run faster.  Fill enough pages, and you’ll eventually write better.

Just keep at it.  Write, run, REPEAT.

Peterborough Half marathon finish - Dave

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