Writing is what I do, and so is running. I’ve been doing both so long that they sometimes seem to run into one another (pun intended). I have similar strategies for both and both give me a similar thrill and sense of satisfaction at the end. Of course, one has me sitting at my computer for hours on end and one is my stress release and my reason to get up in the wee hours of the morning. Though the latter could be said for both, at times.
In just a few days, I’ll be hitting the trails in northern Arizona for a 55 kilometer race (I’ll save you the math: that’s 34.1754 miles). I wouldn’t be heading out there without the proper preparation work. I’ve spent months building up my endurance by running a ridiculous amount of miles on the trails of the Phoenix mountains. I’ve tested out different energy drinks and foods before, during and after these long runs. And I’ve done some runs on tired legs since my legs might be a bit tired after running for 8 hours.
Blogging (or writing in general) is similar. A lot of preparation work goes into writing, whether it’s for my own business or for my clients. My preparation work involves:
- Doing some background research
- Asking the right questions
- Digging deep (which I surely have to do when I run long)
My fuel looks a little different for writing than it does for running though. When I know I have a long day of writing ahead, I’ll stock up on pre-made sushi and a teriyaki bowl along with some Diet Coke.
Accountability and Support
While I love to both run and write, I have a hard time keeping myself on track with both without some accountability and support. I have two regular running buddies, one who keeps me in check during the week and a crazy running buddy who races with me and forces me to do my long runs. Knowing that someone else is out there, waiting for me to show up, gets me out of the house when it’s cold and dark, raining or just terrible summer-in-Phoenix conditions. Without my two accountability buddies, I wouldn’t make it out—no matter how much I really do love running.
[bctt tweet=”Accountability keeps me on track with my content marketing, and my running. ” username=””]
Writing for my business is similar. I spend so much time writing for my clients that I don’t always leave time in my schedule for my own business. So to make sure I stay on track, I have CEO dates with other online entrepreneurs. During these virtual meetings, we hop on Zoom or Skype and chat about what we need to accomplish in our businesses—but only for about three minutes. Then we each dive into our work. In silence. It was a little weird at first, but knowing that someone is on the other side of the camera really helps me stay on task and stay off of Facebook, out of my inbox and away from my laundry.
I know that some people think I’m a bit crazy for the races I do, but there’s a certain thrill at the starting line. A feeling of being invincible. (Though halfway through I’m feeling less than invincible.) It’s exciting, and I’m proud of myself for getting out there, let alone crossing the finish line under my goal time. And while there’s always a goal time, I don’t always hit it. But that’s okay because like my writing, I always strive to be just a little bit better than I was yesterday.
With writing, I always feel a bit jittery and nervous when I hit “publish,” especially when I write more personal blog posts like this one about quitting my day job. When I run through a draft of website content with a client, I always get a bit of a rush—wonder what their reaction will be. And someday, I’ll publish a book. Talk about publishing jitters with that one!
[bctt tweet=”The adrenaline rush keeps me running and hitting Publish on my content marketing! ” username=””]
A race isn’t a race without a celebration at the end. After I cross the finish line, I nearly always head to a bar with friends for a celebratory beer. Heck, training for this 55k, my running buddies and I just might have stopped for a beer after one (or 10) of our long runs. I mean, you have to give yourself kudos when you accomplish something you set out to do. The beer is justified, right!?
There’s a celebration after writing and publishing something, too. Though maybe not as fun! After writing (and publishing), you need to share—on your social media profiles, in Facebook groups. And the more you do this, the better. And when I finish an exceptionally challenging piece, I definitely break out a bottle too.
Tackling something big is a big deal. Committing to a 55 kilometer race is no joke, and neither is committing to blogging twice a week for the entire year. I’ve done both, and accomplishing both will bring me a great sense of satisfaction.
The first time I set out to run a marathon, someone told me, “You can’t.” As in, “You don’t have the time and determination to get it done.” For real. I immediately said, “Watch me.” Well, I’ve done it three times and while I probably won’t run another marathon, this 55k will be my second ultra marathon.
As for writing, every time I publish a post—whether it’s on my own website, a guest blog for someone else or a commissioned piece for a client or publication, I have a great deal of satisfaction that what I do matters. I’m helping someone. And I’m growing as a professional with every work I put to paper.
What’s your sport or activity of choice? Chances are, there’s some prep work, a thrill factor, a follow-up and some satisfaction that goes into it for you, too!
In a few weeks, I’m going to show you how to write like you’re racing as we Race to Summer Break—and get all your content written, formatted and scheduled for the entire summer. Before Memorial Day. It’s a super-low investment (we’re talking $50 here) with a load of accountability and support.