Saturday, June 9, 2012

Saturday So What: How Do You Write a Book?

So What am I doing today? This morning, on June 9th, I am running a marathon. It's my second. I still think I'm crazy.
So What am I doing tomorrow? If I'm still alive, I'm writing a book. It's my third. I still think I'm crazy.

Every once and awhile I get really overwhelmed and think What the heck am I doing? The massiveness of the tasks I'm about to do freak me out. Running for 5 + hours straight? Who does that? How is it even possible? And writing a whole book? Making up worlds, characters, plots?  Who the heck do I think I'm kidding here?

Sometimes I'm at the beginning, looking ahead, and the end seems so impossibly far away. Other times I get lost in the middle, tired and weary of the journey. When I finally cross that finish line, I look back in disbelief and ask how I got here.

How do you run a marathon? By moving forward, one step at a time.
How do you write a book? By moving forward, one step at a time.

It's the same principle. If I look entirely at a project with macro vision, it looks too big and I want to run away screaming.  If I break it up into sections, a mile here, a chapter there... it's doable. Marathons have training schedules, so should books.

Start small with just a concept. A central conceit. Then build on it. Add your characters, build your world around them. Give them problems, tensions, peril. Now that you have a basic concept of where you are going... go. Take it one chapter at a time. Don't worry about the 25 chapters (miles) ahead of you. Focus on the one you're in. Then move onto the next one... and the next. Before you know it, you're at the end.

So when people ask me for advice on running a marathon or writing a book, the advice is the exact same.
Start at the beginning and keep working towards the end. Pace yourself and never give up. You'll get there eventually, I promise.

Come visit my blogs to learn about Facebook Faux Pas, and more about my marathon


  1. I like this. The training schedule for a book makes sense to me, even if I will probably never train for a marathon.

  2. Great comparison! Great advice!

  3. Congratulations on your marathon! The most my knees will let me do is a 10k, and I can't wait for this baby to come so I can start running again. Yes, long-distance running training is a great deal like writing a book. It's just one word at a time, one step at a time. :-)

  4. Wonderful advice! Though I think I will stick with writing and leave the running to someone else. :) And this post totally got me in the mood to write. Only three more hours before I get off work and can go do it!

    Konstanz Silverbow

  5. Thanks guys! My knees and legs are toast. But I finished. And if I can beat 5 hours with 2 busted knees then finishing the second half of this WIP should be a breeze

  6. Great advice! I always use the mantra, 'leg over leg, the little dog went to Dover'.



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