Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Why Writing a Book Is Like Preparing for a Marathon

By

Barb Caffrey
 
 

Please help me welcome the talented Barb Caffrey to MB4. She is a fantastic editor and the author of the comic urban fantasy romance, An Elfy on the Loose and the upcoming sequel, A Little Elfy in Big Trouble. Today Barb shares with us one of her classic bull's eye posts, small in size but huge in wisdom. Enjoy! D.

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.

*****
Barb Caffrey is a writer, editor, musician, and composer. She holds two degrees, is an inveterate and omnivorous reader, and is the writer of the comic urban fantasy romance AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE, available now from Twilight Times Books, and the upcoming sequel, A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE.
 
She is also the author of the transgender fantasy/romance CHANGING FACES and co-author of the two extant Joey Maverick stories with her late husband, Michael. Her stories and poems have appeared in STARS OF DARKOVER, HOW BEER SAVED THE WORLD, BEDLAM’S EDGE, BEARING NORTH, at the Written Word online magazine, at Joyful! Online, at Midwest Literary Magazine, at e-Quill Publishing, and at Vision online magazine. 

She reviews books for Shiny Book Review and, more occasionally, at Amazon.com for their Vine program. She follows politics, loves sports, watches far too much reality TV and is mystified by the “Maury” show.  What all this says about her is anyone’s guess.

 
 

2 comments:

Barb Caffrey said...

Thanks for having me! I appreciated it very much.

Barb

Aaron Lazar said...

Barb, what a great analogy, and so true. I think the part I really related to the most in your article was the reference to drive. I know I am driven to the point of obsession, which I do believe is a good thing in this case! LOL. Thank you for being with us again, and thanks to Dora for bringing this one in. ;o)