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Friday, September 28, 2012

The Marathon of Publishing

I began 2012 with a New Years Resolution to start jogging. I figured it'd give me the best work out in the shortest amount of time. Unlike most New Years Resolutions, I actually stuck to this one. My sister recommended I try an App called "Couch Potato to 5-K."

Having nothing to lose, and since my only plan was to just "jog" I took her advice.

Here's the way the App works. Over nine-weeks you alternate between walking and jogging. At first, you walk a lot more than you jog, but by the end of nine weeks, you only walk to warm up and cool down.

It went something like this:

Week One: Wow, this is so easy. Why haven't I always done this! I LOVE jogging! This is my new exercise for-ever!

Week Five: Oh my gosh, how many more minutes until I can walk again? Are you kidding me?  I can't do this! These people are insane! Who can do this? This HURTS.

Week Nine: I will not quit, I will not stop. I am capable of doing this.

By the end of those nine weeks, discipline alone kept me grabbing my iPhone and sneakers. It wasn't fun, but it was no longer painful. It was akin to reaching maturity.

Often while I jog, I mentally compare it to publishing, encouraging myself to glue myself to my seat when I get back home.

True, I am not experiencing the "honeymoon" period, where I could write every second and I squirrel away—and I'll never-ever-ever-ever get tired of writing.

I'm moving past the second stage, where I've looked at the big picture (writing + the right agent + the right publisher + marketing skills + publicity skills + small business skills + lots and lots of prayer + wondering who can keep up with this?) and feel overwhelmed. 

I'm heading now into the third stage—where in discipline, I work, I write, I research, I market. And yeah, it's a lot of work and not a 'typical' life. For a little while, this stage confused me. I wondered why I wasn't having "fun."

But as I jogged recently, I realized that when an Olympian runner trains, he/she doesn't think Wow, I'm running and this is great!, It's not. They don't think. They just do. They're pursing a difficult dream without the promise of reward. And if they make it, what really counts as they crouch at that starting line, is the unseen hours of hard work that prepared them for that moment. So they dive in. They simply work. 

So, which stage are you in?


  1. At the point of the race where the finish line is getting way too close. Time to pick up the pace! Good stuff, Jess. And interesting timing.

  2. Ha, thanks Gina! To think I wrote that post a month before I got my editorial changes back. Talk about putting your money where your mouth is :-)

  3. Well, I've jogged, ran, walked, cooled down, and changed course. I wrote a book, submitted it to a publisher, had it published, and fell flat at the finish line. I've since published a second book as an ebook, obtained the publishing rights of the first book, and am getting ready to publish it on my own. So, I guess I picked myself up at the finish line of my marathon, tightened my shoe strings, brushed the dirt from my knees, and headed for the next marathon.

  4. Hey Nancy, heading for the next marathon is a great comparison! I'm cheering you on!

  5. Out on submission now, waiting for an answer. But in the meantime, thanks to my encouraging writer friends, I'm determined to start writing the next book IN EARNEST, and stop playing around with ideas in my head. Because, like you, I'm too deep into this to stop writing. I just won't stop, even if I'm pecking at my little laptop in the nursing home someday.

    Great post.

  6. I'm in the disciplined stage with a few hiccups. :)


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