• Shelly Powell

The First Two Miles are the Hardest


Ready for another running analogy? Yay! I probably love running as much as I love writing. So this past Saturday, I ran eight miles. Eight! This is a huge accomplishment for me because it's not only the most I have ran since having my third baby, but it's the most I've ran ever! And I'm more than half-way to my half marathon!


So as I was running, I noticed that the last mile was not the hardest. The first two miles were! Maybe it's just my body. It's probably just the time I need to warm up, but it hit me this time. I needed to push through the initial work to get in the groove and find my pace. Honestly, by mile six, I was tired but feeling so good!


So how does this relate to writing (or any goal, really)? Well, I think that sometimes getting started is the hardest part. Getting that first draft done, going through that first cumbersome edit, or maybe even getting that first book written is like running those first two miles. It feels so hard, and you're tempted to stop, but you're not warmed up yet! Realizing that the first two miles are sometimes my hardest has motivated me to keep going when I feel like I should go home and eat a stack of pancakes instead. It's better to hang in there! It's going to get better. Maybe not easier, but better.


It's been about two years since I first decided I really wanted to give writing a try. I've been excited and consistent about it, but it has been a lot like those first two miles. With each edit, I've realized how much work is ahead. Maybe it's just the time I need to warm up, though, right?


Sometimes the wall is there before we even get started. For me, it can be putting on my running shoes or coming up with the first line of a new story. It feels big and intimidating because so much is ahead, but I wouldn't want to miss out on the journey. Right now, I'm editing and editing my book. The race isn't over yet, but I'm getting it done!

 

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