Janet Sumner Johnson
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Getting Vested

Feb 13, 2012 Uncategorized 20 comments

Just before the new year, my friend talked me into signing up for a half-marathon with her. Up to then, we’d casually exchanged running time (taking turns watching our kids), but she was ready to get more serious.

Honestly, I have never had the desire to run a marathon or even a half marathon. I ran for soccer or basketball . . . running with a purpose I called it . . . but never just to run. Only crazies do that.

But then some stuff happened and I needed a distraction. Something I could do to completely get away from all the whirrings of my mind (so you can see why writing wouldn’t really fit the bill this time). I paid my money and suddenly, I’m vested in the craziness of running to run.

I quickly learned that if I wanted to be successful, I needed to make some additional purchases. Appropriate running clothes (because believe me, you run for an hour or more and it’s essential!), the right shoes, plus a little gadget (I use Nike+) to track my progress. If I want to succeed, I need to know where I stand and how fast I’m improving.

Because time is of the essence here. March 17th, I have to be able to run for 13 miles.

I’m guessing you know where this is going. The writing thing.

Are you vested?

Are you so anxious to succeed in your writing that you’re willing to put up some hard cold cash to get there?

Do you make sure you have the right equipment, the right training (think critique partners, conferences, seminars, writing books)? Are you tracking your progress so you know that you’re improving (think multiple drafts, multiple books)?

Just something to think about. πŸ˜‰


20 Responses to β€œGetting Vested”

  1. Old Kitty says:

    Shopping to enhance one's creativity is definitely one – if not – the highlight of pursuing one's dream.


    Now off I go to find some lovely stationery…


    First the sacky thingy now the marathon thingy!! Yay!! Take care

  2. That's awesome! I'm never run a half marathon, but I did the same thing with my 5k. I had to sign up and fully commit. When the day came, I was ready for it.

  3. I am vested in writing – less so in running although I do that in fits and starts too πŸ™‚ Good luck with your 1/2 marathon training!

  4. Good luck with the half marathon Janet! That will be quite an accomplishment. I hope I'm vested. If anything, I'm suiting up.

  5. Good luck on your marathon!! And I do what I can to be vested in writing! Authoring? Pre-authoring? Whatever.

  6. I'm taking two online writing courses right now. I have lots of great beta readers/CP, and I love going to national conferences and local workshops. Yep, I think I'm vested. πŸ˜€

    Good luck with the run!

  7. i'm erin. says:

    Writing and half marathons totally feel equally mind-boggling. Last year I ran my first half and really, if I'm being honest with myself, I think the prep was the hardest. I psyched myself out over and over again, and when it came to the day it wasn't a big day.
    I have to remember that writing is the same way. I need to stop sweating it…but on the same hand I need to be more willing to push myself.


  8. Good luck with the running. That's something I've thought about doing.

    I'm vested in writing and I've made necessary purchases.

  9. If you run a marathon, you get to buy new clothes and shoes? Okay, I'm in.

  10. Great analogy, Janet. (BTW, I'm going to a workshop on running Thursday night. It is being put on by a former olympic runner.)

    You bring up a really good point. You wouldn't start teaching school without the proper training.

  11. Ah – I miss my running days! I have a blown knee, can't do it anymore. I walk now, not nearly as efficient but it does give me that precious time alone for thinking and relaxing. I miss the runner's high. I hope you get to experience that- it's cool. Not as cool as a writer's high though.

    MAKE SURE YOU STRETCH before you run to avoid injury and don't run too much on hard surfaces!

    Okay, sorry to be miss bossy pants. Great analogy there with investing in writing, though.

  12. LTM says:

    Hey, I like it! And wow, I'm super impressed with you!!! My bestie Dara ran the St. Jude mini for the first time a few years ago. She's done it two more times since. I'm just all impressed–she was never Ms. Fitness. I was always the runner, but I've never topped 6 miles, and NEVER a marathon, mini or otherwise. You geaux, girl!!! <3

  13. Wow, what a great comparison. And yes, I'm always game for the right equipment and training. Anything that can benefit.

    Good luck with that marathon! I applaud you!

  14. Wow, I'm super impressed. Best of luck – keep us posted. Oh yes, I'm definitely invested in writing. It's my life!

  15. TOTALLY vested! πŸ˜€ Hey you, good luck!

  16. Good luck!

    I've written so many drafts of my first novel that it's not even funny.

  17. Emily says:

    Impressive! The half-marathon sounds like a real challenge!

    The second part of this post really made me think though because apparently I'm NOT vested in writing. At least, I've never spent money to become a better writer. I'm curious to know more about your opinion here though. Do you think being 'vested in writing' actually requires an output of 'hard, cold cash'? Or do you think thinking and reading (and writing and writing) can be ever enough? You should do a whole post on this! πŸ™‚

  18. JeffO says:

    Interesting post, Janet. Nice comparison.

    Back when I was in college my roommates were gearing up for an on-campus Turkey Trot. One night they were on their way out and, on a whim, I decided to go with them. Much to my surprise, I loved it. I ended up running in the race, and doing pretty well, too. In the end, I didn't stick with it. But I'm sticking with this writing thing.

  19. That's wonderful, Janet! I'm in awe of you. Best of luck. πŸ™‚

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