running writers

So, how is this school year going so far? More free time, as expected (hallelujah no new classes), but not a lot of writing yet… definitely a lot of mulling, though. I have had a lot of time to brainstorm and head-plot, which I’ve found is essential for my writing style (i.e. imagining all the scenes clearly and then sitting down to write it in a giant burst of speed).

And where better to do my brainstorming than out on a walk? Or at least, that’s what I used to do. Now that I am more in shape–30 pounds down since this New Year’s Eve–I’m trying to move to running, instead. It’s a sport I always hated in P.E., because I’m not very fast, but now that I’m on my own pace, without a creepy gym teacher yelling at me, I’m having a lot more success.

Luckily, there are some amazing resources out there for geeky runners like me.

“Zombies, Run!” is my favorite. I’ve been using this one for a while and really like it. It mixes your music playlist with a storyline, explaining that you are out on supply runs or investigative explorations to help your little crew survive the zombie apocalypse. If you are too slow, zombies will chase you (complete with scary breathing in your headphones!) until you speed up and “escape” them. I might have written about this one before since it’s been over a year, but now, escaping the zombies is not so hard… it’s nice to be in shape, haha. In season 2, Margaret Atwood even has a cameo!! It cracked me up. I’m glad Ms. Atwood is all set to survive the apocalypse. 

“Hogwarts Running Club” is the one I found more recently, obviously inspired by Harry Potter. One sorts oneself into the appropriate house (Ravenclaw!) and joins that team on the “Charity Miles” app. Then all the miles logged by running are added to that house (just like the house points in the stories), plus the app donates 25 cents per mile to whatever charity one chose before the run. Benefits: earn money for charity by doing something you probably already would have been doing, feel competitive by trying to outrun the other 3 houses, and join a really active Facebook community who encourages each other to run (and posts info about nutrition, gear, pretty photos from outdoor runs, etc.). They also host virtual races with real medals. So I signed up for “the Patronus 5K” in October… I can pick any day, run my 3.12 miles, and claim my medal. Plus I don’t have to run in a pack of other people, I can run with my dog, I don’t have to wake up at 4:00 a.m. to drive somewhere far and weird and fight for parking, I don’t have to worry about my time being highly publicized if it’s sucky, and I don’t have to safety pin a bib to my shirt. An introvert’s dream 5K!!

So yes… being outside, being observant, being healthy, are all important for writers, too. Don’t become a pancake-butt just because you have to sit down to write so much. Walk (or run) to think!


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