5K Novel: After You Cross

You’ve crossed the finished line. You feel elated! You’ve accomplished something that scared you to death to do. You feel high on the excitement of it all. You don’t want to leave, but you know you must go home at some point.

You’re novel is done. You’ve pressed send. It is now in an agents or editors hands. You want to take a vacation from writing, do nothing, but you know that you have the next project to work on.

And now…you wait.

They won’t post your time until later tonight…

The agent said she’d get back to you in six weeks…

And then…you wait some more.

There’s a whole year until the next 5K…

The agent said you needed to have it edited some more…

You edit, extensively, and send it back…

Guess what…you wait some more…

I’ve given myself the title “Professional Waiter.” Writing is a waiting game. But if I’ve learned anything in this process, it’s that WAITING is an ACTION word. What can you do while you wait? How can you prepare for what’s next?

For 5K, running is the best action. Conditioning your lungs and muscles (starting 2 weeks before the 5K doesn’t really do it justice…) And you now have a record! You’re so gonna beat it next year!

For your writing, well, WRITE. Start the whole process again (1st mile…to Finish Line). Don’t be idle while you wait. Hone your craft. Read more books on editing. Send out articles to magazines. Write a story for your kids. Or a poem for your BFF. Just WRITE!

The process of writing is never-ending. But it’s sure worth it, even on those days when you want to chuck your notebook/laptop out a window and curl up–never touching another pen/computer key again!

And remember your battle cry: You’ve Got This!


5K Novel: The Last Mile

Okay, now you can say you’re almost done! You’ve conquered two miles! Only one more mile to go. This thinking helps your legs to pick up the pace a bit. The time you saw on the clock by marker two gave you pause, it wasn’t as low as you’d have liked, but you’re still well under thirty minutes.

As you run, you notice that spectators are less and less. The spectators have abandoned their posts along the course to go to the finish line. You kinda wish that there was still someone around to encourage you on this last mile . . . 

You hear music. A lady in front of you has her iPhone out. You know the song playing! You love music, it motivates you to do a lot of things that you don’t like. You run behind her, singing along (in your head). You get a small burst of energy, and realize you can pass her. So you pass the lady with music, missing it instantly. You feel lonely again, but then a boy appears on the sidelines, his arm outstretched. You smile and give him a high-five as you pass. Guess everyone didn’t abandon you.

You run some then walk some. Run. Walk. Run, Walk. This last mile is a killer. But you keep thinking “only a mile left!” You finger the bracelet on your wrist, taking up the chant “I can do ALL things through Christ.” This becomes your battle cry. 

You round the last bend and your running partner appears! She, of course, already crossed the finish line, but she came back for you. You feel so loved, so encouraged that she, instead of celebrating at the end without you, she came back to run beside you to the end. Your feet pick up the pace at each word your running partner says. She tells you you’re awesome and that she’s so proud of you. She’s gives you a drink of blue Gatorade. 

Then up ahead…you see the finish line. And it’s INFLATABLE! You laugh because that makes you insanely happy—yep, you’re a little past crazy at the moment, but you don’t care!

To the cheers of the crowd, you decide to sprint to the end. What have you got to lose? You hear your name being called by so many people. You see cameras flashing. You run like the wind, a smile lighting up your face.

You leap over the finish line…  

Tears threaten—happy, conquering tears this time. Your first 5K is done! And your time is 36:45! (I know that’s probably a lot for super athletes, but to someone who only started training 2 weeks before the 5K, that time is a miracle!)

 You may not have fallen in love with running, but you can now say that you have run a 5K! And who knows, maybe you’ll do it again next year!


Novel Time

You only have about 27,000 more words to write! You feel so accomplished. It was hard, but you’ve already written about 54,000 words! 

20,000 to go . . .

10,000 to go . . .

You’ve had times of inspiration. Times of nothing. Times of feeling alone. You heard a song on the radio that gave you an idea. A friend said something and you wrote it down, getting a whole scene out of that one line. These little bursts of inspiration helped those dry times. 

And then, you only have 5,000 words to go…Guess who just called and said she’s on her way over? Your writing partner! She finished her novel, sent it off to an agent, and is free. She’s here to help you finish your novel! She stays up late with you, bouncing ideas, telling you where you need to add, and where your writing is AMAZING.

The last thousands words . . . More writer friends huddle around you. Encouraging and pressing you on (threatening to beat you with a cane if you don’t finish by your deadline—all in super love of course…).

And then, you have two words left to type. THE and END.

As tears build in your eyes, you type 6 letters. Your novel is done! All those tears, pity-parties, chiropractor appointments, finger and wrist cramps from typing for ten hours straight…all that was SO worth it.

*cue victory music!