Writing is a triathlon

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My first thought when I see the Iron Man Triathlon on television is, “why would anyone want to do that?” Physically, even when I was in the best condition of my life, I could not have done it, although if I’d trained hard enough, maybe, just maybe, I could have pulled it off. Mentally, though? Nope. I’d better figure it out now, though.

My first novel is finally out  on the Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites. I woke up the next day still me, with no unicorns and rainbows shooting from my eyes. I am grateful, humbled, apprehensive, and proud all at the same time. I know I still have much to learn. I am dedicated to continue to improve my craft and undertake the work it will entail.

The business side of publishing is daunting and bewildering, and a part of me wants to just make it disappear. Shut my eyes like a four year old and it’s not there anymore. I’ve been focused on writing and ignored the marketing and promotional side of things, which is very dangerous if you want to make a living as a writer. On the other hand, I don’t ever want to become “that guy,” the one who spams with relentless ferocity until people want to shoot him in the throat. So I won’t be doing that.

Writing books is more like a triathlon than a sprint. There is the storytelling side of it, which is the most fun. That’s where the ideas come flowing out, and they are still shiny and new and you get to pick and choose. It’s an organic thing, even if you are a plotter and you are working on an outline. The story comes out and it is glorious. Then comes the  writing, which is where the words on the page come out. It’s not quite the same as storytelling, although it can be a part of the process. You have to worry about voice, pacing, syntax and word choice. The writing is a blast, too, though. Not quite as free-wheeling as the storytelling, yet more satisfying because the characters, conflicts and settings are coming to life as you churn out the words. And then there is the marketing and promotion, which to most writers, including me, is less than fun. That last leg of the race is painful, crucial, and long. It seems to demand I utilize muscles I don’t really want to use as a writer. It’s running a marathon when you’re already exhausted, and it’s the difference between .

finishing the race and dropping out in agony.

I guess I’d better dig down deep, ’cause I ain’t quitting.

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