Friday, January 8, 2010

group training & work work work

Today I read an article in a back issue of Runner's World about the Hanson-Brooks distance running project. Two brothers, Keith and Kevin Hanson of Michigan, are training American distance runners to compete with East African runners in top marathons and the Olympics. Their idea is that group training is key and they aspire to provide their athletes with a schedule and living wage that allows running to be central, rather than squeezed in before or after a forty (or fifty or sixty) hour work week.

I run so part of me wondered if I'd be a phenomenal runner if I spent five or six hours a day dedicated to the sport. But I'm also a writer and my daydreams revolve more around seeing my book(s!) in print (and read!) than standing among elites on a podium. Still, I thought about the two main ideas to the Hansons' approach: an emphasis on group training and also the idea that if you work (work work work) you can become (much) better.

At the writing group I am part of, I think we each sharpen each other and bring fresh ideas to light. It's a lot of encouragement; I think that's what I need most at this time as I keep drafting stories for The Book Project. As for the work work work part of writing: I wish that I could spend five or six hours a day writing and I hope that that sort of day is in my future. For now, I am developing the discipline to manage one or two focused hours a day and trusting my mind to continue working on plots and characters in the between time.

Though my year is about to get much busier (more on that later), I think that I will have a reasonable (if not entirely publishable) short story collection by the end of July. Writing Group and work work work will get me there.

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