Writing as an Endurance Sport

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?


5 thoughts on “Writing as an Endurance Sport

  1. LOL I hate to say this, but I’m not even Trying to go forward, I’m just trying to keep my head above water. Isn’t that sad to say? But I bet a lot of us are feeling that way.

    (love your blog!)

    Just stopped by to ask, (and you probably have heard this asked a hundred times), but was wondering if you were going to finish your Lords Of Ch’i world? I’ve just re-read Jet and Silvers story (for like the 5th time) and I would really like to find out what has happen to Paulo, Earth and Water, Pete and for goodness sakes! Mik! (and does Silver become pregnant? What’s going to happen with Jet and Silver!!??)
    😀 lol as you can see, as with others of your fans, I’m quite anxious to find out more of this world, and it’s characters.
    (LOL though, after reading that little snip-it about your Steampunk Romance characters, I can’t wait for that story! :D)

    Thanks for sharing your talent with us!

  2. ciarcullen says:

    Hi Geri, what a nice thing to say. Angie James, who was the editor of that book, kept suggesting to me that I write another in that series, and I have to say that I have not yet written it, but it’s on my list! The only thing I know for sure is that Jet will be in some baaaaad trouble and it will be up to his loved ones to extricate him. But that you’d come to like Paulo more ;o)

    I’ll push it up in the queue for you!

  3. anny cook says:

    Hmmm. Well, I had a book rejected and that was a kick in the seat of the pants, wasn’t it? Currently working verrrry slowly on three wips (three different genres), doing a lot of deliberate thinking before writing. That’s a difficult thing for a pantster like me.

    As you know, somewhere under the skin there is an itch that says hurry, hurry, hurry, but I’m determined not to do that. I’m pleased with what I have written so far.

    Will it be better? I don’t know. But this is my new and improved plan for Anny Cook.

  4. Lucinda says:

    Right now, in my situation, I’m just trying to stay as positive as possible about everything and count all of my blessing, even the itty bitty ones.
    In my writing life, it seems that readers are finally beginning to notice me—thanks in large part to Amazon Kindle. My books have found new life there, and it may just be a matter of luck. I’m not even doing 25% of the promotion I used to do, but readers are buying. I sold my 100th copy today.

  5. vivianarend says:

    How am I making my writing better? Ahem…attempting to make my writing better?

    Do the next thing. Learn from my mistakes. Let new people read my work but take their feedback with a grain of salt so I don’t lose -me-.

    It helps that I started at zero and the first improvements are the biggest, just like the gains in conditioning when you start running. It’s easier to improve from a 1 hour to a 30 minute 5K than from a 30 minute to a 20 minute. In writing, the same thing.

    First story, lots of tell, not enough show. I don’t do that anymore.

    So…off to fix the ‘next thing’.

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