“Read, write, run” sounds like one of those kids’ workbook problems – ‘Which one of these things does not belong?’
These three things are thrown together here because I realized recently that they are the three solo pursuits that almost always deliver when I make the time for them … the payoffs being physical limit-pushing, jumpstarted confidence, restored sanity, creative jollies and cerebral shakeups.
Reading … I’ve always been a reader, but since becoming a grownup (especially a grownup with a child), I don’t make enough time for it. Though I cross new books off the list every year, I have stacks of highly recommended but unread books around my house that feel as if they are mocking me every time I walk by and ignore them again. This is mostly a time-management problem that can be fixed.
Writing … I write for pay, and I write for pleasure – and though I’m a pragmatist, I hold out a little hope that the writing I do for pleasure will some day turn into writing that pays. But like reading for pleasure, I have a bad habit of letting the days get away without finding time to write. This, too, can be fixed.
Running … This one is brand-new for me – the thing I tried and failed at over and over again as a teenager and 20-something. After my 20s, I gave up on ever getting past the point of running two blocks without feeling as if all of my organs would explode. It was always completely miserable for me, and yet I felt so envious of the people I knew who loved nothing better than to go out and run miles at a time, no matter what the weather or season.
A 5K training program at a local running store (Fleet Feet) proved to be the way in for me. I’ve become a runner at last – I’m slow and probably always will be, but I can live with that. The satisfaction of knowing I’ve done it at last, combined with the joy of getting out on a beautiful trail in the middle of the woods and pushing my lungs/muscles/psyche to new levels, is enough.
I’ve been making a living as a writer and editor for a long time, and these days, writers are expected to have a blog presence. But it’s been hard for me to wrap my head around how to do it; I’ve given way too much thought to finding just the right approach for a personal blog. I write a kids’ book blog with my 10-year-old book-loving daughter (and a bit of a blog about a kids’ novel I’ve written), but it’s been hard to get past my discomfort and get a personal blog off the ground.
Though I am a mother, I am late to this blogging game, and there cannot possibly be any more need for mom blogs on the planet. I finally gave up on the idea of finding a clever and original idea, and decided to put a stake in the ground around my three things. Some of what lands here will hopefully be of interest to others – posts about books (and lines in books) that bowl me over, for instance – but it may be that it will mostly serve to keep me honest about my vow to do these three things more faithfully.
(What are your ‘three things’?)
~C.A. (reading, writing and running in North Carolina)