I haven't posted in a while because nothing is really happening in my writing world. I am writing and plotting (I love plotting), but it's nothing too exciting. Lots of other amazing things are happening in other areas of my life. God's providing. Work is going well. I'm still losing weight. Yeah...there's also some new developments in my exercise world...
I'm trying to be a runner, which is something I've never wanted to be before. To be honest, at this point, I really don't think I'm going to become a runner. I've entered this 5K for a program called Girls on the Run. It's some kind of self-esteem program for girls. I don't know too much about it, actually. My boss' tweenage daughter is a participant in the program, and I got free registration through work. I like my boss' daughter, so I figured it would be a cool thing to support her in this way.
It's a walk/run 5K. I could walk it if I wanted, but there's something in me that is saying, "Walking? Don't be a gurlymahn!" I've never been athletically inclined, but right now I'm in the best physical shape of my life. Why shouldn't I attempt to do something like this now? If I don't try now, I might never try.
I don't want to run a marathon (because that would probably quite literally kill me). I just want to be able to run the 3.1 miles of the little race I've entered. Right now, I'm up to about...half a mile. I can jog half a mile at one time without having to stop for a walking break. And by the time I finish that half mile, I'm gasping like a fish out of water. I sound like I'm dying. Maybe I am dying. I don't know...I just keep walking while gasping until I can breathe semi-normally. Then I try to run again and only make it about a quarter of a mile before my lungs threaten to burst and my legs start turning to Jell-o. Then I walk home and pass out on the floor.
The race is only a little over a month away. The only improvement at this point is that I didn't have MAJOR abdominal cramps the last time I ran (I did the first few times). I have a feeling I'm not going to be able to physically run a 5K. If you're a runner, then you probably think I'm pretty pathetic right about now. I probably am.
For the first time in my life, I'm really bummed that I'm not able to do something athletic. I've always just kind of shrugged when it came to sports/running and figured I had other talents. I just don't want to give this up. I don't want to let my own body beat me. Therefore, Saturday, when I actually get off work in time to go out running before dark, I'm going to get out there and try again. In the meantime, I'm going to get on that elliptical and up the resistance and try to strengthen my body and lungs. I don't want to fail at the goals I've set for myself. I'm going to keep trying, even if I'll probably never be able to run those 3.1 miles.
I wish I had that kind of dedication right now with my writing. I have only sent one query out this whole year. It was to an agent I pretty much already knew wouldn't be interested. I've got a list of agents to query. I've got a list of the things they want me to send them along with my query. I just haven't made myself sit down and get those things together. While I'm physically beating myself up to get to the goal I've set for myself, I have left all this writing stuff in limbo.
I keep coming back to this point. I need to do something with my writing--or stop saying I'm going to do it and go get a job as a lumberjack, instead. I don't think I'd be a very good lumberjack. I don't like splinters. Therefore, I need to do something with my writing.
I also need to start editing a story I've already written.
I also need to work on a new project (or two).
Many people have suggested (and I have thought of this myself, many times) that I just try to focus on one thing at a time. Maybe I should set aside the writing to focus on sending out my queries. Maybe I should set aside the queries to focus more on my editing. The thing is, while sometimes it's more important to devote time to a particular project, writers don't usually have the luxury of just doing one thing at once. If I'm going to make it as a writer, I'm going to have to learn to do something I've never been that good at: Balance.
Writing isn't like a 5K or even like a marathon. I can't just put all my focus on one aspect of it. Writing is more like a triathlon. I have to learn how to train for three separate types of events all at the same time...three events, but with the same goal. To win. I have to learn how to balance the writing with the editing, the querying with the writing, the editing with the querying. And if I ever get to a point where I'm so awesome that I don't have to send out queries, then I'll still have a separate event to train for: the marketing. The life of an author is not what I imagined it was when I was in high school. It takes a lot of work.
I've learned so much in the past year about discipline. Writing is no different. If I'm going to get anywhere, I'm going to have to set some practical goals. If I'm going to meet those goals, I'm going to have to be disciplined. It's hard, but I don't want to be a lumberjack.
...and also, I'm pretty sure I won't have a career as an olympic runner to fall back on. No Wheaties boxes for me.