I’ve probably picked up running ten times over the last few decades. I started in my thirties when I was an aerobics instructor (no, I didn’t wear those leg warmers), in my forties to get in shape for my black belt test, and again now, to try to stave off a few of the ailments of middle age. Of course, it hurts more now. The little aches and pains you have to ignore. I just signed up for my first half-marathon (go ahead, you real runners, laugh it up). I have the 12-week training plan posted over my computer. It gets ugly at about week 4.
For now, it’s good enough that I can run continuously for about 3 miles. That’s what I’ve been doing for a while. For now, it’s good enough that I write about 1000 words at each sitting. I don’t see how I’ll ever have the time to do much more than that. But I need to make those 1000 words better. Immer besser. Because just like in running, it doesn’t move you forward to do the same thing and expect better results. In fact, your body gets used to the same excersize, and it takes more. And guess what? The market is getting less forgiving of the same ol’ half-baked erotic novellas and urban fantasies. In my humble opinion, as they say.
So how do you get better? How do you crank up creativity, your writing chops, your marketing saavy, with the same resources–time, money, whatever? Cause it’s no fun to be “stuck.” I think you need a training program. You can’t google one like I did for a half-marathon. I think you have to create your own, and call on all your writing world friends to help you construct a plan to move forward.
Some seminal psychological writings tell us that doing the same thing each time and expecting a different result is, well, nuts.
So tell me how you are trying to move forward in your writing, or if you’re a reader, in some other aspect of your life? On a wing and a prayer, or with real intent?