I am a runner who is becoming a writer.
In January of 2008 I started distance running. I was 42. In June that year I surprised myself by completing my first half-marathon. I enjoyed the accomplishment so much that I continued training and competing. In October 2010 I completed the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon. That finish gave me a high that lasted for days.
I reached my running goals by first registering for a distance event that was a few months out, and then training according to a daily schedule. I trained for half-marathons by running an hour every other day, and up to three hours each Saturday. Half-marathon preparation takes about two months. My visualizing the day of the event, and imagining the fulfillment of crossing the finish line is what kept me on my training schedule.
I say that I am becoming a writer, even though I have been writing throughout my life. At St. John Brebeuf, Notre Dame High School, Northern Illinois University, and also Oakton Community College and the College of DuPage, I was writing to get assignments done. I created short works that were good—but had potential to be much better.
Except for these school assignments, my writing has been journaling. My goal is to convert the themes from my journals into stories. Stories which I know are well written, and which my audience will like.
I am working toward my writing goals the way I accomplished my running goals. In January 2012 I joined the Kenosha Writers’ Guild. I put the KWG meetings on my calendar just as I had registered for competitive runs. And now I’m following a daily writing schedule just as I had followed a daily running schedule.
In distance running I got a great, lasting high whenever I finished a thirteen or twenty-six mile race. I am looking forward to the writing highs I will get each time I finish a story. Long-term, my goal is to write a book that has the qualities of a classic.