Writing, and What I’m Up To

I’ve never been good at blogging. I checked my stats: in the past five years, I’ve blogged 63 times, and most of those posts have been announcements. I’ve never felt like I have much to say. But I want to try to blog more often about what I’m up to. Maybe it’ll help me get some writing ideas. (one can only hope) Anyhow, I actually have something to blog about today.

About two months ago, my editor called to talk about my release schedule. My next book, Racing Savannah, comes out in December. I finished writing it in April, and truth be told, I was kind of looking forward to a break so I could read and watch TV and go to the gym. My next book wasn’t supposed to be due until February of 2014. But now my editor would like to see the first draft by October 1, so I’m writing as fast as I can. The book is about a girl training to run a marathon in honor of her boyfriend who died. Digging deep and trying to find the emotions is hard. On top of that, running is something that’s important to me, and tough to write about. When I was younger, I used to run long distances all the time. I spent most Saturday mornings on the trails. I ran a few races, including a marathon, and it was a very emotional experience because I trained for so long. Even though I trained for over a year, I found that a lot of people didn’t think I would make it.

It hurt that people didn’t believe in me. It occurred to me later that when people get scared for those they love and care about, sometimes they are negative. They don’t want to see them fail. I believe it’s a self-defense mechanism. The same thing happened when I started writing seriously.

I remember talking about my first book to my family and friends. One friend actually rolled her eyes whenever I’d bring up my writing. Some family members didn’t want to hear about it at all. No one was really interested. All that changed when I got a literary agent and a book deal. Now people want to talk about my writing every single day.

Again, I think people were scared that I would fail, so they ignored what I was up to so they wouldn’t have to experience the fallout they felt I would surely have.

I’m glad I stuck with running and writing – I’m pretty sure I succeeded because I was doing both activities for ME. Not for anyone else. Not to impress anyone else. Not to spend time with anyone else. I ran for hours on Saturday mornings by myself. Yesterday, I wrote for something like five hours, all by myself. If you really want to succeed at something, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons.

Anyhow, I’m about halfway done with writing this marathon runner girl book. I’m hoping to have the first draft done by July, which might be hard because I’m going to Antigua in two weeks for vacation, in which I plan to read a lot of trashy books and drink tropical alcoholic beverages. I’m a little scared about going to Antigua because I’ve never been to the Caribbean before and don’t know what to expect. Also, I’m whiter than Elmer’s glue, so I’m afraid I’ll get a sunburn.

That’s all. Maybe I’ll try to blog more soon!

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4 thoughts on “Writing, and What I’m Up To”

  • Hey! Thanks for your post! It gave me some motivation. I’m just starting the couch to 5K training program. (I’ve never even ran an entire mile, so fingers crossed!) I’ve also been kicking around ideas for writing, but have never really been brave enough to start typing anything. It’s nice to know that there’s someone out there kinda like me. Can’t wait for your future books! And don’t worry about Antigua, just wear lots of sunscreen, I’m sure it will be beautiful there! 🙂

  • Miranda Kenneally

    @Jamie – Good luck! I found that with running, it’s important to walk a lot at first and not to set your goals too high. Run little bits at a time and you’ll work up to long distances in no time at all! Just be kind to yourself. 🙂

  • Love that you are a runner girl!! I always find it difficult to get the perfect pacing. So I’m doing badminton instead:)
    I’m writing for myself, too. There not much time to get many words written, it goes slowly, but I’m always happy to return to my characters and story. My family can’t read it, because they don’t speak English, but they are always supportive and encouraging me to go on.

    Can’t wait to read Racing Savannah, your runner’s girl book + football book and all your other future books LOL. Enjoy Antigua! Hoping to see more blog posts like this soon:)

  • ColoradoRunnerGirl

    Love to hear about one of my favorite authors talking about my two favorite ways to spend time – running and writing.

    My first marathon I had a similar experience (regarding people’s reactions). My dad seemed so negative about it. When I completed the race (Chicago – it was flat and at a lower altitude – woo hoo), I couldn’t wait to call him. He was really happy for me, and, I think, proud.

    Now that he’s been gone for 10 years and I have my own daughter I realize he was just worried that I would fail. Seems like I feel my daughter’s disappointments more than my own, so I now it’s easier to understand.

    Can’t wait for your runner girl book! Loved everything you’ve written.

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