Like a marathon, only better

About once a month I like to convince myself that I could run a marathon. I read all manner of inspiring stories and for a brief moment of insanity I believe that I too could join the ranks of those who run 26.2 miles.

Then I go out for a run and a quarter mile into the jaunt my body starts hurling four letters words at my ambition.

This usually leads to phase two of my insanity, wherein I lower my expectations and convince myself that I could run a half marathon.

Then I go for a run and a quarter mile into the jaunt my body starts hurling four letter words at my ambition.

At this point I decide to accept my limitations as a runner, which usually lasts me a couple of weeks until I read the inspiring story of someone who’s muscles use to curse at her and she overcame and became an avid marathoner who wakes up every morning and without even thinking she accidentally runs eighteen miles and I think, “Huh. I could do that.”

And thus, the cycle begins again.

So listen, I’m not a runner. Clearly. Somewhere deep down I think I know that, but there’s always the hope of a miracle.

I also hope to meet a unicorn someday…

But there are other goals that loom before me and call to me every single day. Like the ever elusive marathon, though, these goals often feel so…hard.

Writing a book is my own marathon. It is the song that calls me from my bed early in the morning and taunts me in the late hours of the night. This weekend the Blissdom conference brought a bit of a revelation to me as I sat in Jeff Goins‘ session on falling back in love with the craft of writing.

See the thing is, I will probably never run a marathon because I don’t love running. I just don’t. I don’t even like running. I think it’s stupid.

And it hurts.

And it’s stupid.

But writing…I love it. I love writing. I love the sound of the keys tapping a rhythm. I love the hum of the pen moving in fluid loops across a blank page. The sound of a typewriter is so romantic it makes my eyes water. I simply and deeply love writing.

I’ve told you I’m writing a book. I even let you see a little sneak peek. Twice. This book that I’m writing is my race. It is the marathon that I simply must run. It’s the story I must tell. But it’s so very, very hard.

For the last few months, as I’ve tried to work on my book only to be met by a wall of resistance, fear and doubt, I’ve wondered why on Earth I chose such a difficult subject to write about. Like a marathoner in her 19th mile, I’ve begun to wonder…can I really do this?

But the revelation that hit me this weekend was this: I didn’t choose this book. It chose me.

It chose me when I was fifteen and I stood on top of the hill at Babi Yar listening to the story of survival that changed my life and forever altered how I view the world as a whole. In that very moment, more than half my lifetime ago, I knew that I would write this book. I didn’t understand the scope of what it would become or the enormity of the task that loomed before me.

I just knew it was mine to write.

And it scares me. It scares the crap out of me. It’s like running a marathon straight up the slope of a mountain knowing that failure isn’t an option because by God, I trained for this.

Jeff challenged us all to write something dangerous this week and to publish it. So here it is: I am going to finish this book by June 1st.

I have 94 days.

And along the way, I may give you all a few more sneak peeks here and there. Because you guys, you’re a part of this journey with me. You are the cheerleaders on the sideline telling me I can do this and throwing me a beer now and again.

Just kidding. I don’t like beer. Wine would be great though.

Come back tomorrow for the next sneak peek at the novel that chose me. I am going to introduce you to the character that depletes me emotionally each time I sit down to write. I loathe him. And I feel sympathy for him. I’d love for you all to meet him. Tomorrow.

For now, though, I’m going to head out for a run.

Just kidding. I’m going to go pet my unicorn…

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