Writing Compared to Running

Every year I have a New Year’s resolution, sometimes official and sometimes not, to write more.  I know the best goals are the ones that are written with specifics and are measurable.  I think the reason I fail to make my goal more specific is because I fear the pressure that comes from doing so.  I don’t want to be forced to write, but rather want to do it when I feel inspired.

In taking this approach I know I am limiting myself.  I end up not writing as often, and I likely don’t grow more as a writer.  I have often argued that if I force myself to write it will feel more like a chore rather than a hobby.

In thinking about my approach to writing I began to compare it to my running.  I commit to 3 runs per week.  Sometimes this falters during track season when I’m coaching or in the winter when weather restricts it, but for the majority of the year I can adhere to that goal.  This sometimes feels like a chore when I’m trying to fit the runs in during a busier than usual week, but overall it is a reasonable goal and one that has seen me progress tremendously in the past two years as a faster, stronger runner.

I can’t fully compare writing and running.  While running does require mental willpower to ensure I get out the door, writing requires much more brain power.  Forcing myself to lace up my sneakers when tired seems much easier than forcing myself to string together words when I’m brain drained.  Running is sometimes a social activity where as writing is a solo one.  This can make me feel selfish for taking time from others to write.  I view running as an essential element of my life, something that keeps me both physically fit and mentally sane.  Writing enhances my creativity and allows for emotional releases, yet I fail to treat it with the same respect as I do my running.

Most of my runs I feel motivated to complete.  There are certainly days when I feel less than inspired and each step is spent wanting the run to be finished.  Sometimes I may not be in the mood to run, but find that once I get going that I end up enjoying it.  I am hoping that if I begin to write more, even if I don’t feel inspired, that I may end up writing better than I expect.  I rarely let excuses stop me from running.  Whether it’s a schedule conflict or not feeling up to it, I almost always find a way to get in my 3 runs a week.  It seems any excuse is a valid one though when it comes to not writing.  I think it’s time I break that habit.

Beginning in 2019 I am going to make it a goal to write at least one blog per week.  It may not always be the most creative or interesting, but it will force me to have some consistency.  I am also going to make it a goal to work on my story or some other form of writing for at least an hour per week.  This can be made up of any combination of time be it 15 minutes for 4 days or a full hour in one sitting.  I am sure this will be painful at times, finding time to accomplish both goals particularly during track season, but if I have found time to run regularly then I can certainly find time to write regularly as well.

How often do you blog/complete other forms of writing?  Do you find that the motivation to write comes easily or do you adhere to a schedule/make goals to keep writing regularly?  Do you feel guilty for taking time away from family/friends to write?


About TracyNicole

Runner. Writer. Reader. Environmental advocate. Work from home Workforce Specialist. NASM Certified Personal Trainer. Assistant Varsity Track Coach. Fascinated by the ocean, waterfalls and Christmas lights.
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9 Responses to Writing Compared to Running

  1. I try (but it doesn’t always happen) to post about my travels on Tuesdays and my running on Fridays. I’ve found by choosing a specific day, that helps with consistency. If I’m not able to post on a Tuesday because I’m out of the country or flying all day or just don’t have the time, I’ll wait until the following Tuesday even if I could have posted on that Wednesday, Thursday, etc. just to be sure it’s always on a Tuesday. For me writing is an outlet so I don’t feel guilty about spending time doing it. Just like with running, I’m a happier person because of writing, which translates to a better person to be around.

    • TracyNicole says:

      Funny that I’ve never actually picked up on which days you tend to post; I just know I enjoy reading anything you write! I think I need to commit to a day like that though to hold myself more accountable. I’m not sure why I feel guilty as I spend more time with my husband now that he’s first shift than I ever did when he was second shift. I think I just got used to having all my “me time” when he was at work and now that he’s home in the evenings I think I should be spending that time with him even though we’re normally just watching TV. When I wrote last night he seemed to not care so I don’t think there’s really a reason I should feel guilty.

      • It’s the whole guilt thing that most women feel (but most men don’t); it’s completely put on ourselves. As long as you’re not totally neglecting your friends and family, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with some “me time,” and in fact I think most people are better off for it.

      • TracyNicole says:

        I agree that we seem to put all the guilt on ourselves. I feel like since I’ve increased the frequency of my workouts and duration of my runs that my house is never clean enough. I clean the bathroom weekly and the kitchen counters get wiped down but the rest of the dusting/vacuuming seems to wait until I have time. I rarely have company and my house is never dirty so I don’t know why it bothers me beyond the “natural guilt” or the fact that my mom cleaned houses for 10 years and it’s just engrained in my DNA! I agree everyone needs and should take “me time” – for me I tend to feel like my running is my me time so to add another activity like more writing to it seems selfish. You’re right though that I’m not neglecting anyone so I just need to kick the guilt to the curb!

  2. Laurie says:

    I am still working out a blogging schedule that works for me. I am retired, so I have more “me” time than you, but right now, it seems to work best if I blog 3 times per week. I attempt to do one inspirational/faith-based post, one fitness post, and one post that is very simple and short on anything I feel like writing about, often beginning with a quote.
    After I run, I feel exhilarated, and energized; after I write, I feel drained.
    I will be looking forward to reading your weekly posts! 🙂

    • TracyNicole says:

      I think it’s great you can blog 3x a week and not run out of ideas. It seems having focused topics like you do is a good way to ensure that. Sometimes I find I’m motivated to run after I write; I guess all the blood gets flowing and the ideas come along with it! I agree that writing can be mentally draining. Thanks!

  3. That’s a wonderful goal for next year. I hope you find your writing journey as dynamic and adventurous as running a race!

  4. Pingback: A Year of Blogging | The Writing Runner

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