July 4, 2010 § Leave a comment
I know I’ve been away for a while, and I didn’t mean for so much time to pass. I haven’t been working on my novel, which makes me feel like a failure and I wonder if that means I’m not cut out to do it. I had a conversation with my friend Graham yesterday about writing. He’s written a novel, and I thought he had been working on a second, but he said that he has crossed over to non-fiction. “It’s easier,” he said. And I felt my heart lurch against my rib cage, missing my old friend CNF: Creative Non-Fiction. It is easier. I had an idea about something, I knew what I wanted to say about it, and I sat down and wrote until I could write no more. It almost always came easily and naturally. My writing groups all loved my writing, and would ask for more. I was on a non-fiction track until I met Ian and he told I should write fiction. Turn my (for lack of a better term) memoir into a novel. The thought was new and exciting. I anticipated a new adventure and bobbed my head up and down, “Yes, yes, that sounds brilliant!” For a few months, it was fun. But lately I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know what I want to include in my novel. I’m not sure I know my characters well enough. I feel like I don’t even know how to write anymore. And then I hear about people writing non-fiction and I feel a variety of emotions. I’m envious, I’m longing to experience the effortlessness of writing again, I’m annoyed at myself for so quickly jumping trains and for taking one person’s word that I should write fiction.
I’m training for a marathon. It’s not easy. On Thursday I did speed repeats. I sprinted for 1/2 mile, then jogged for two minutes, and I did this eight times. On Saturday, I ran an easy 11.24 miles around Cedar Lake, Lake of the Isles and Lake Calhoun. It was a beautiful morning, but I was shot for the rest of the day. There are times when I want to quit because I just don’t want to do it anymore. It’s too hard. But then, after a good workout, after a good long run, I feel really proud of myself for pushing through. I’m glad I’m challenging my body to do something it’s never done before. My motivation? Running down Summit, coming over the hill near the Cathedral, and crossing the finish line at the Capitol hearing thousands of people cheering and seeing loved ones. I also want to lose weight and gain muscle and keep fit, but I want to say I’ve ran a marathon.
Ian says (there I go again) that running and writing are closely tied together, and I’m beginning to see that. I’m in a running group, which helps tremendously, and when I meet with my writing group, I always feel better and I feel like this is what I’m supposed to be doing.
I decided to blog today to promise myself and my followers that I will write today or tomorrow morning. I have tomorrow off, and mornings usually work better for me. So there it is. I’m committing to writing tomorrow and I will be glad that I have done so. Stay tuned.