Friday, March 2, 2012

Thirty Days to the Finish Line

First thing this morning, I emailed both a cover artist and someone to format my manuscript for all e-readers.

Check off items (1) cover art and (2) formatting. Actually, I checked off one more: (3) Friday—rest day. It’s a great feeling to see items with lines drawn through them.  

Although I checked off “rest day,” it didn’t stop me from mentally preparing for a 10-miler tomorrow. Before I ran my first 10 miles, I plotted my course and decided to run two of my regular 5-mile courses instead of plotting a new 10-mile course. If I could run each of them, then I could run them back-to-back. (Maybe that was a stretch!) It did, however, give me a psychological advantage. After I finished the first 5-miles, I knew I could run the next. And you know what? It worked. This was something I learned in writing. Break the project down into manageable tasks. Don’t concentrate on writing the whole chapter. Just write the next scene and the next.

Today I know I can do something because I have a history of doing it.  But at some point, I had to have tried something without knowing I could. On the first Monday in October, 1997, I sat down at my computer and decided to write a book, eventually titled The Ruby Brooch.  I had never even attempted to write a book. Where did the belief that I could do something of that magnitude come from and accomplish the task in ten weeks?
On September 20, 2011, after running my first 2-miles, my daughter, Lynn, challenged me to run a 10K on Thanksgiving Day. I said, “Sure.”

(See the mother/daughter picture after we crossed the finish line at the  Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot in Cincinnati.)

My other daughter challenged me to run the New York Marathon. (I settled on a half-marathon instead of a full.) Where did the belief that I could write a book or run 13.1 miles come from when there was no basis for those beliefs?

Perseverance—persistent determination.  I must have learned that as a child—a strong-willed, stubborn child.

So often a voice plays in our heads telling us we can’t do something. It sounds like our own voice, so we believe it until it becomes easier to listen to the voice than to change, or to do something out of character, or out of your comfort zone, or out of your belief system.  

Today, turn off that voice. Tap into your innate persistent determination and do that one thing that will empower you. You don't have to run a race or write a book, but you can clean that closet that's been driving you nuts, or you can push away from the chocolate and start a weight loss program.  Write a new voice to play in your head. You’ll never regret it.

Happy writing and running, Kathy

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