This is more of a musing than a blog post (is there a difference, really?), something that has struck me in the last couple of days. I can only liken it to training for a long distance race.
In 2008 I did the 10 miles of the Great South Run, which I found gruelling. I’ll blame that on the horrendous weather, but at the end of October in Portsmouth, it shouldn’t have been a surprise. I’d run my first 5k race in 1998 not long after my dad died, and have run ever since. The increase from 5k (3 miles) to 10 miles is a process. You have to increase the distance steadily, incrementally, over time. I think it took me about 6 week to shift from 6 miles to 10 miles.
At the beginning, I thought I would never get to 10 miles. I was comfortable doing 3 miles, 6 even. Actually, I loved running the 10k distance, really finding a rhythm after the first 30 minutes of relative discomfort. It was like that for the novel. I thought I could never get to 100,000 words (I haven’t yet!), and I wasn’t sure that I could sustain the story. 2,000 words of short story was challenge enough. In those early days of churning out the words, it was a stretch to make it to the 1,000 word marker (my per day minimum), but in the last days, it’s been 1,800, 2,000 and yesterday 2,300 without the pain that it felt earlier in the year.
I can only conclude that my writing stamina is increasing, and I think that’s worth noting.