I write and I run. I don't do either particularly well, although I'm better at both than everyone who sits on their couch watching television instead of doing either. I have four finished novels and a few more that are in various stages of completeness. I also drag the big dog with me three times a week and think bad thoughts when we come back after four miles and I'm too exhausted to stand while he's busy running after squirrels.
This is after a run. He doesn't look very tired, does he?
I'm a plodder. **
I'll certainly never win any races -- my goal is to keep my mile split under thirteen minutes and I don't always hit that goal. (My favorite excuses: I run on gravel, there's a stoplight on the way there, and sometimes I'm running with a bag of dog poop.) According to MapMyRun, I did once have a seven minute mile, but I was also teleporting around the neighborhood at the time, so I have doubts about the accuracy of that measurement. Most people, on hearing of my running times, say "Isn't that about the same amount of time it takes to walk a mile?" To them, I say: No, dammit, why does everyone think that?! It's way faster than walking speed. By at least a minute. Bastards.
I'll probably also never be traditionally published. There are a ton of people out there who are better writers who have better ideas. (Then again, there are a lot of traditionally published books that aren't better written and have worse plots.) I'll still be working on it, next year, but realistically the odds are low. (My favorite excuses: So many to choose from -- editors! publishers! the reading public! the non-reading public!) But I keep plodding on, working on revisions of one while writing the next.
So why do I do either one? Because it's all about me. While I complain quite a bit during the process of both, I like to have run and I like to have written. It's that simple. I don't need "success" in either field for it to have any meaning.
So there you have it. Embrace your inner plodder.
* That's a joke. I'd read genre fiction over "literary" fiction any day of the week, and I write what I like to read. But I've learned my lesson about being in critique groups with literary fiction people. And poets.
** This is different from being a "plotter" as distinct from a "pantser", both terms being used when describing how much planning goes into a novel before it is written. In those term I'm usually somewhere toward the "plotter" side of the spectrum.
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