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The Writing Marathon

by Marianne Evans

My son and husband are avid marathon runners. In fact, 2016 was a milestone for us because our son qualified for, and ran in, the Boston Marathon. I’m such a proud mama! Like his father before him, he trained, he became educated on the sport and its processes, and he committed himself to a regimen so strenuous yet impressive that it leaves me in awe.

His accomplishment made me think about ‘marathoning’ in terms of my writing life.
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In the past two years, I have written three novellas, half of a short contemporary romance, and a fiction novel. In that time, there have also been book releases, promotional efforts to execute and proposals hatching. Did I mention my full time job? My family? The fact that I became a grandmother for the first time? Whew. The process is daunting at times.

In fact, it’s a marathon.

I can’t sacrifice quality, so I’ve trained myself in the craft and business of writing. I’ve worked hard to become educated. I want the manuscripts I turn in to my editor to shine and be as polished as possible, so pre-editing before I turn in a manuscript is critical. After all, publication is a marathon exercise for editors as well.

Producing multiple books on a deadline takes knowledge of the entire publication process. It takes commitment. Backside in the chair, fingers to the keyboard, head and heart buried deep within the pages of my WIP. There are days, sure, when the last thing I feel like doing is booting up the computer and crafting the next scene, the next chapter, the next conflict. In marathon terms, that’s called ‘hitting the wall.’

That’s when an amazing transformation occurs–I find if I power through and stick with it, I will find myself engulfed in the story God is giving me to tell. Easy? No. Frustrating? At times, you bet. Rewarding? To the highest power.

Finally, there’s commitment to the regimen. I can let myself just dream of writing. I must sit down and do it. I can’t let myself be afraid of the learning and taking on the hard work; both are on-going processes as I write, and that’s when I force myself to remember a wise bit of advice I paraphrase from the one-and-only Nora Roberts: “The only thing you can’t edit is a blank page.”

What’s your battle? What ‘wall’ do you hit as a writer? Let’s compare notes. I’m praying for you, friends, and cheering you on. In the end, I hope you take on the challenges before you and discover the surprising truth that the ‘marathon’ is well worth the effort.

Marianne EvansMarianne Evans hopes to spread the faith-affirming message of God’s love through the stories He prompts her to create. Her books have earned wins in the Booksellers Best Award, Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year and the Selah. Marianne lives in Michigan and is an active member of ACFW and Romance Writers of America. Connect with her at www.marianneevans.com.

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