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Racing up City blocks…

Last week, I went for one of the best runs I’ve ever, well, run. I was in Manhattan – and I just flew around the place. It was a mini-exploration that began when it was still dark outside and things were relatively quiet, and ended in winter’s muted daylight, the City in full motion.

I ran around cases of food being piled into restaurants and crowds of people pouring up and out of the subway. I saw a lot of dogs – some tragically wearing sweaters. I finally, and only, stopped because I had to shower and get to a meeting. I could have kept running all day.

Now, my mother will tell you that ‘order’ has never been my thing. She loves right angles and, you know, cleanly arranged things. I’m more of a believer in the chaos theory. It’s how I cook, it’s how I write this blog , it seems to be how I love – following the gut, the heart and some other good body parts.

But, when I’m running and when I’m writing for clients, I love order. I seek it out, I set it up. I love ticking off the neat little markers along the way. I think it was part of why that run was so damn good – the progress towards my destination of, say, 33rd street could be easily measured as I raced up the clearly numbered city blocks. I knew how far I’d to gone, I knew how far I had to go.

When I’m writing – especially a big project. I stake out points along the way like these city streets. By the chapter, by the page, by the section. Again, I know just how much I’ve accomplished and just how much I have left to do. And the best days of writing, like the best days of running, are the ones when ‘what’s left to do’ is never enough, when I never, ever want to stop.

Image credit: ShellyS

By the way, I guest posted on AngEngland’s blog today, writing about Knowing Your Value (and getting paid for it)…part of a series she’s doing on better blogging.

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Plus, running is the best way to learn the reality of your physical world. The details of the street, curbs, parked cars, people, dogs, doors, trees all come alive because I pay attention as I pass.

  • Shipra chauhan says:

    Interesting analogy with writing. The impetus we derive from markers, whether running, walking or writing is quite powerful. I leave a few bookmarks around, for chaos to creep in, for days when I too don’t want to stop:)

  • Andi says:

    I have to write down everything to check off. I need to affirm to myself that I am accomplishing the things I want to. I also need to know whether I am making my milestones on my committed deliverables, etc. But I also tend to do this in my personal life as well. As I age, I am starting to forget things and need to write them down otherwise between upstairs and downstairs in my house I WILL forget!

  • Alisa Bowman says:

    I think, with writing, there’s a balance between the order/planning and the chaos/creativity. The most creative writing comes in a flow state, much as you described your run. Then again, if you don’t have an outline and interim deadlines, you go in circles and never finish.

  • woolies says:

    Hi – just stumbled on your blog! Great reading!

  • Dave Doolin says:

    Exactly. You don’t have to make it to the finish line. You just have to make it to the next mile marker, next block, next whatever. The finish line comes as a surprise.

    Whence it’s off to the next race.
    .-= Dave Doolin´s last blog ..Persistence – the critical trait for success, in any endeavor =-.

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