Posted by: annmariegamble | August 31, 2009

Writing Is Like Jogging

There are so many parallels, perhaps I should go further: writing isn’t just like jogging, it is jogging. (And a word to the kids in the audience: jogging is what the old fogeys call running.)

Writing is like jogging:

  • You really feel it after a day off.
  • It takes three to six weeks once you’ve started before you can look at your sneakers without groaning.
  • It’s not about who wins. It’s about being able to jog your distance, improve your capacity.
  • Variation in your training regimen helps your body in the long run. If all you ever do is the mile, try adding some sprints, some stretching—maybe even rock climbing or dance. It tones different parts of your body and will do interesting things to your mile.
  • Really—all you need is a pair of shoes. There’s lots of cool equipment (God, I want a heart monitor!), but none of that stuff is a requirement.
  • If you’re sick, a day of rest could be the best thing for you. However, sometimes what ails you would be best treated by going out anyway. Trial and error can help you tell which is which.
  • Keeping track of your days and miles keeps you more honest than memberships, gear, lingo, . . .
  • When your heart starts to pound and your breathing gets heavy is when things are starting to get interesting. As you do this more and more, the heart-pounding stage feels less and less like you’re about to die.

New studies on exercise: we’ve set ourselves up to fail by turning exercise into this high-performance, gear-intensive, all-or-nothing activity. However, it turns out you also get benefit from, say, five days of moderate house and yard work, or a stroll around the neighborhood every night. We’ve turned physical activity into gold medal or nothing. Since the vast majority of us could not have been contenders, we’ve given up doing even the little bit that helps, couch-potatoing ourselves into old ages of disability. Instead we could be strolling our way, one paragraph at time, into strong bodies.



  1. Great post! Yes. If we just write a little everyday, it becomes so much easier. I love the second bullet point about taking three to six weeks of working at it before you stop groaning. So true.

  2. I am slowly solidifying my commitment to doing NaNoWri Mo this year–it will get me to wrap up the current WIP (oh so close) as well as start the next project. I’ve never racked up the daily word counts that will be necessary to “win,” so I’m trying to get back into the daily habit now, add milage later.

  3. […] wrote another post about how writing is like jogging that is relevant to this point. It may be that you need that warm-up lap before you’re really […]

  4. […] wrote another post about how writing is like jogging that is relevant to this point. It may be that you need that warm-up lap before you’re really […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: