A SPRINT? There are some prolific writers out there. They wow us with their ability to produce material and to do it rapidly, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. Goodness. They truly amaze. They know how to sprint to the finish line and get the job done in mere seconds (days). They have learned how to do it, hire the babysitters, hire out certain tasks, make connections, get up in the wee hours, make every minute count…yada, yada, yada. It has to take passion and determination to work so hard and do so much and with lots of energy. The quick finishers have an advantage. They get the book done in a hurry, and another, and another. Doing it well is the challenge, but they have resources that help them. I do believe living a disciplined life is essential for the sprinter. They must know what they are about–translated–the confidence to do it.
A MARATHON? Then there are the rest of us. We are the marathoners. It takes us a long time to do the job, but we sustain the effort, pace ourselves for the long haul, keep hydrated, and do it and do it well. It’s not just about finishing the race, but it’s about how we run the race. Learning and doing, learning and doing, improvement and application, improvement and application. It just keeps on building, a layer upon another layer until we start gaining ground on our opponents, even winning a race once in awhile. We notice our competitors. There’s the in-born natural talent, and then there’s the hard work variety, sometimes both together. The marathon writers hone their skills and do whatever it takes to endure to the end, even when the side is aching, the legs are burning, and the mouth is dry.
PREPARATION. It has a lot to do with how you prepare and what you have eaten. Like the athlete, we must keep ourselves current and in shape or the industry will leave us behind. In a sense, I think writing is a marathon for both groups because it is ever changing. Endurance is a required ability for the writer, one that is gained and developed over time. In writing, the person who wants to make it, must be able to improve, learn, and then sustain the effort. When the going gets tough, the tough get going.