by Tamara Passey
I started this post a few different ways. All with the goal to tell you about the awesome Writing Marathon I participated in on Saturday sponsored by the awesome Tristi Pinkston. This was the first time I tried to write in some sort of social, we're-all-in-this-together fashion. It was also the first time I blocked out four plus hours on a Saturday for writing and even enlisted the help of husband and kids to do things like cook dinner! And due to Tristi's great suggestions for preparation and her motivating, supportive emails - I think it is the first time I've written that long without having to stop and review where I was in my story. Why? Because I knew I was participating in a 'marathon' and had gone to the trouble of setting aside the precious time - I did not want to waste any of it wondering what to write next. Gee, what a concept! One of the ways I prepared was by chapter plotting (do I dare use the O word - outlining) whatever you call it - I mapped out each scene in the chapter(s) I planned to tackle. What a difference. Having that little map next to my keyboard kept my words flowing pretty easily through those hours. Thank-you, Tristi. Another bonus to writing marathon style was giving myself permission to write for that long of an amount of time. (I have written for long stretches before, but shorter ones are the norm.) The benefit, of course, was being able to stay 'in the story' and so all those 'potential' words and ideas actually made it on the page. Just like running a real marathon, when we prepare by conditioning our muscles, we can keep putting one foot in front of the other and realize our potential.
Now, my challenge is to figure out when I fit another 'writing marathon' into my life.
Which brings me to why I started this post a few different times and I'm now finishing it when I am normally finishing dinner. My day started with an end-of-year school assembly followed by a preschool field trip to a very cool dairy farm. It sort of felt like a marathon day, like there was starting gun when I left my house and someone has hung a 'finish-line' tape for me somewhere (it is there somewhere, isn't it?) Isn't motherhood it's own marathon? That is probably a question that should be answered in another post.
For now, I'd like to hear how many marathons are you running in your life?