Sunday, January 18, 2015

Weekend Wildcard - Things I've Learnt About Writing Through Running

We're delighted to welcome Harlequin Intrigue author Janie Crouch to the Pink Heart Society today, as she talks about how she equates running with writing...

It’s January, and many of us have made goals having to do with health and fitness for the new year. Running, specifically distance running, has been my athletic venture of choice for a while. Mostly because running gives me a chance to be alone – a rare commodity for me, a mom with four kids and lots of responsibilities. 

Since 2010, I’ve run two marathons, a dozen or so half-marathons, a number of relay races and even completed an Ironman Triathlon last November. Yeah, I know, I’m crazy. You’re not the first person to think it. 

But I definitely list distance running as one of the contributing factors to me becoming a published author (my first book Primal Instinct released in 2014). Running helps rid me of real world stresses and gives those voices and stories in my head the chance to be heard. 

I’ve learned a lot about running during my years of running, but I’ve also learned a lot about writing during that time too. 

The Top 5 Things I’ve Learned About Writing By Training for a Marathon 

Running lesson #5:  Yesterday is finished. Concentrate on today. The runs you’ve done in the past are great, but now they’re over and all that really matters is the run you’re doing today. The opposite is also true: missed three weeks of runs? Can’t do anything about that now. Get out there and start back up.  Writing lesson: Laurels ain’t for resting on. Whether yesterday was a bad word count day or a good one, today needs to be a writing day. The best PR an author can do is to have a good book in the works for her readers. 

Running lesson #4: Don’t expect people to understand what you’re going through. Non-running people will ask you about your marathon training, but they really don’t want to hear about it. Trust me on this: tell a non-runner you ran 2 miles this morning and they think you’re a rock star. Tell them you ran 12 miles this morning and they think you’re psychotic.   Writing lesson: People (even other writers) will ask you about your novel, but don’t really want to know more than two sentences. Have those sentences ready, then move on. Always be able to summarize your current WIP. 

Running lesson #3: Recognize that what seems impossible now will be the race you’re completing someday soon. When I first started running, I couldn’t even go a full mile without walking (which is OKAY, by the way).  At that time I said a 10k (6.2 miles) was impossible. But I did that. Then I said a half marathon (13.1 miles) was impossible, but I trained for it and did it. Marathon (26.2 miles)? Same thing. Not impossible when I made a plan and stuck to the plan, one step at a time. Writing lesson: What am I not trying to do because I’m calling it “impossible”? Time to stop being scared and Do. It.  Make a plan and stick to the plan, one word at a time. 

Running lesson #2: All forward motion is progress, even if it’s slow. Slow is better than not moving at all. Writing lesson: All forward motion is progress.  Write 50 words, that’s a paragraph. Write 250 words, that’s a page. Write 300 pages, that’s a manuscript, and soon enough you’re done. Write every day. A writer writes, always. 

Running lesson #1: Distance running going to hurt. Accept that. When you push yourself, it hurts. Writing lesson: You’re going to want to quit. Don’t. To borrow from A League of Their Own for both writing and running: “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.”  Embrace the hard. Or at least learn to live with it.  

I hope that 2015 is a prosperous and adventurous year for you, no matter what your endeavors! 

Do you have a hobby that's taught you valuable lessons about writing?

Janie Crouch’s new 4-book Omega Sector series is available now with Book 1: Infiltration. Book 2: Countermeasures releases in February:

The clock was ticking, the enemy was watching...

At first it looked like a glorified babysitting job: safeguard a scientist while she created a countermeasure to neutralize a dangerous weapon that had fallen into the wrong hands. But when Dr. Megan Fuller's life was threatened, undercover agent Sawyer Branson knew the enemy was closing in. 

Sticking by Megan 24/7 wasn't something he took lightly, even if Megan didn't seem to appreciate his constant presence. For a man used to getting any woman he wanted, Megan was a challenge he was coming to enjoy. Because beneath her boxy lab coat and pinned-back hair lay a brilliant and beautiful warrior.

And before long, Sawyer's determination to save the world was matched only by the sudden need to make Megan his.

Find out more about Janie on her website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter for more updates!


  1. I love this post Janie:-) I'm a runner and almost ran my very first marathon, but had to pull out due to an injury and undergoing an op on my feet! However, the time at home has afforded me the opportunity to write to my hearts' content which would not have happened if I was still running. I believe everything happens for a reason and I cannot wait to start training again and getting back on track to run that marathon:-). The life you're leading, few writers experience and understand, for they have a full time job and write. Sustaining two passions with a full-time job is incredibly tough especially running a home and bringing up four children. You truly are Superwoman and I applaud you:-)

  2. Fantastic post, Janie, and so many great parallel lessons! (Also, a non-runner, I AM impressed by 2 miles and I do think 12 is psychotically fantastic!)