Running a Half Marathon is a Lot Like Writing a New Novel

I’ve found running a half marathon to be a lot like writing a new novel.

Lately I’ve been in a funk when it comes to writing my new novel. The Mason of Hearts is still away with her Editor and since I’ve been settling into a new job and balancing everything else in life, it seems like I’m running a half marathon with beginning and finishing this story.

I really can’t wait to share more information with you all about my new project, but I’ve been marinating in the world and characters of it. It is quite unlike anything I’ve ever written before. But, until then, I’d like to share with you how I believe running a half marathon is a lot like writing a new novel.

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 Mile 1:

Maybe you just got a new idea for a new novel? Now you just have to write it. But, sometimes this moment is the most important part of starting. Allow yourself time to just marinate in it all. Get to know the land and people inside your mind.

I’ve recently seen a Walt Disney saying.

“The way to get started is to QUIT TALKING and BEGIN DOING.”

I’ve always really struggled with this, because I love sharing my ideas with others to get an idea if they think it’s good.

In the future, I am going to try this out.

Mile 2:

This is the point where you start writing ideas down. Either in your favorite notebook or in the Notes app on your phone. I do both! This is my current notebook.

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Green chevron Moleskine. Love the color and size.

Mile 3:

It happens at the most unlikely moment. Say you are laying in bed, when your eyes shoot open forcing you out of bed to write.

So you sit down  & write.

Mile 4: 

After going strong for up to at least 25,000 – 30,000 words (this is usually where I get stuck) you have a tough moment where you aren’t quite sure where you are anymore. Sometimes I feel like Derp, here.

Mile 5: 

It’s about the stage where your little editor starts insulting you. Be prepared to ignore him/her. He/She is a jerk and a liar who wants to only harm you. Push them out of your mind. You are better without them. AND THEN… Repeat after me….

Mile 6:

Make sure you get up to move. Do something other than writing. Take a breather. It’s in the living moments that most of us get our ideas. Maybe even do something creative to take your mind off the words you can’t find. Maybe check out this cool Instagram Coaster DIY craft.

Mile 7:

Make sure you get sleep. I always have intense & exciting dreams that fill me with seeds for my stories! Make sure you keep your phone or a notebook & pen near by, so you can jot the idea down before you fall back to sleep.

ALWAYS write it down. Don’t ever think, “Oh, I’ll remember that.”

Write it down.

Mile 8:

Keep on working on it. At this point you’ve probably gotten to 50,000 – 60,000 words. Just make sure you get that desk time where you are sitting in that chair typing away at your story!

Mile 9:

You only have 4.1 miles left. Keep going. Keep writing. That’s pretty much all I can tell you right now. When I ran my first 1/2 marathon, It was about now where it got tiring. I had to keep reminding myself to keep putting my feet down in front of me. I kept running!

Keep writing.

Mile 10:

Show up every day. Make sure you write so many words. Push through. Ever tried setting the timer for 30 minutes to write like a tornado (If tornados actually wrote)?

Mile 11:

Keep yourself inspired. Listen to music if that is your thing. I usually can’t listen to music, especially if there are lyrics. I can, although, write and listen to soundtracks and classical music. Don’t know why, but I think I find it calming. The only words I am dealing with then are those that are circling about in my mind.

Listen to Podcasts on your free time. Maybe go for a run around the block and listen to them?

Read blogs on writing as well.

Blogs and podcasts can be a great way to inspire and educate yourself on different writing topics and styles.

Mile 12:

Be BRAVE & strong. You are almost there. Keep on keeping on.

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Mile 13:

Okay, you only have 1,000 – 3,000 words left. Finish strong. You are almost there.

Point 1:

  1. You’ve finished the book. Now, set it aside and celebrate.
  2. Then print it out. (I usually go to a print shop and have them print it for me.)
  3. Now, put it away in your desk or in your closet.
  4. Take a vacation from it for 2 weeks.

What helps you start & finish writing a NEW novel?

About Devin Berglund

Writer. Dreamer. Wanderer. Enjoyer of Life. She loves crafting stories that change lives. Her first book "The Mason of Hearts" was recently finished. It's the first in a Fantasy Adventure trilogy. She is also working toward agent representation.

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