Claire King


Running up that Hill

Posted on: April 2nd, 2011 by Claire - 7 Comments

I do NOT look like this when running. Part of me wishes I did.

I do NOT look like this when running. Part of me wishes I did.

“Just to that tree there, then I’ll stop and walk.” I must say this to myself dozens of times on every run.

I’m fine at running downhill, really, I’m very good at that. But I’m rubbish at running uphill. I gasp for breath, my muscles burn, my knees wobble. Rubbish. I look nothing like that woman in the photo. Perhaps I’ll get someone to take a picture of me in the act just so you can have a laugh.

But if I pick a tree, not too far away, and tell myself I’ll just keep going until that tree and then we can reconsider, things look much better. The hill becomes less daunting, and I often get past quite a few trees before I revert to ‘walking smartly’.

And it’s the same with writing.

For me, in particular, novel first drafts. The whole task seems so daunting at times. I tell myself I’ll just write the next 1000 words and then we’ll see…

7 Responses

  1. I know I mentioned this on Twitter, but that “tree to tree” method works wonders. It’s allowed me to go from getting stuck right at the 1/5 mark of a novel draft to getting all the way to 4/5! I just have that final stretch–boy, what a stretch! But it’s doable if I just pace myself, set the word count goals.

    I’ve told this to other writer friends and they’ve also produced more. I think it’s just great.

    Wishing you well on whatever your current project is!

    • claire says:

      Thanks, Elisa. From a psychological point of view, breaking things down into manageable bite-size goals that hide the greater objective sometimes make everything much less overwhelming!

  2. Marcus Speh says:

    I feel for you. I’m only at the planning stage and I’m alternating between ecstasy and dread. I suppose that produced a current which drives me up the hill…hang in there, Claire.

  3. Nettie says:

    A wonderful analogy.
    By first, where did I put my running shoes….

  4. You are so right. As a writer/runner I feel the same thing…Weirdly I posted about this on both my blogs today.

    Great post

  5. […] read many articles, interviews and blogs where writers reveal that they’re keen runners (Claire King’s blog entry has particularly stuck in my […]

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