Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Why Writing a Book Is Like Preparing for a Marathon

with 6 comments

Why is writing a book so much like preparing for a marathon?

Writing a book takes time. Effort. Forethought, planning, a certain drive and sticktuitiveness…it’s a test that will push you to your limit. It shows you, as a writer, what you are made of — because you have to believe that your persistence, your effort, and your skill will pay off.

Runners do this, too, when they prepare to run marathons. They must get into condition, learn to eat efficiently, and prepare their bodies for a maximum effort. And they must believe that all of the training, all of their skill, will pay dividends when they finally run their races.

Runners are strong. They have to be. And they must believe in themselves, even if no one else does, or they can’t run their best races.

You have to be strong to be a writer, too. And you have to have faith in yourself that what you’re doing is the right thing, all because you have a creative vision that will not be denied.

Perhaps thinking about writing in the terms of preparing for a marathon will help you, especially if you are stalled or frustrated with your work-in-progress. While a completed book is not like running an actual marathon, writing that book is very much like preparing to run a marathon.

I know the metaphor only goes so far. But it’s still an interesting way to think about writing — as a marathon, not a sprint.

Written by Barb Caffrey

January 15, 2015 at 8:17 am

6 Responses

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  1. But on a good day it DOES feel like a sprint. Until you remember that tomorrow you have to keep running, and the finish line is still in the distance. Those sprints, though, help to push you forward and let you know that running is definitely your sport.


    January 15, 2015 at 11:47 am

    • Excellent add there, Dar. I agree.

      My problem at the moment is that I’m battling bronchitis, so any writing (even this blog) feels like a marathon. But perhaps the sprint portion of the event will be happening soon…here’s hoping. 😉

      How’s your writing going?

      Barb Caffrey

      January 15, 2015 at 12:59 pm

      • One word at a time. I’m working on a novel and Now I understand why I loved writing screenplays – so much easier than writing books, and less words to write. But yes, I’m enjoying it – the good days, at least. Feel better!


        January 26, 2015 at 10:21 pm

      • TYVM, especially for the update…and I will try.

        Barb Caffrey

        January 28, 2015 at 1:30 am

  2. You have to be super organized and stick to a schedule, preparing for marathons is a lot like that for sure. =)


    April 20, 2015 at 4:35 pm

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