My writing muse hightailed it out of town around Thanksgiving -for the sun and sand of the Caribbean no doubt. I haven’t heard from her since – as evidenced by my lack of an IWSG post last month and my infrequent blog updates. Writing muse is a flighty muse who comes and goes as she pleases. She is nothing like my running muse who never takes a day off. He’s a drill sergeant who wakes up every day and starts barking at me to run. The only time he ever took a vacation was during my pregnancy – but that’s another post for another support group.
Running muse accepts no excuses. Raining, snowing, freezing or sweltering, no weather is too bad for running. When I tell my writing muse, I’m too tired to write, she says, “Oh you poor, dear. Just rest now.”
Telling my running muse I’m too tired is not even an option. The response is always the same -“Running will give you energy.” And he’s right about 98% of the time.
No doubt, running muse is an excellent motivator before and during a run:
“You can go faster than this!”
“Speed it up!”
“Just one more mile.”
“Oh, look, a hill! Run it.”
Despite the constant motivation, I sometimes feel insecure in my running because I’m not very fast. To which running muse replies, “Hogwash!” He reminds me that I’m a heck of a lot faster than I was when I first started running and much faster than I was when I started again after my pregnancy break. He also reminds me that speed doesn’t make me a runner. What makes me a runner is running everyday and enjoying it. And since writing muse is on vacation, running muse also reminds me that it should be the same with writing.
Running muse also reminds me that if I am passionate and enjoy writing as much as I enjoy running, then I must take risks. On a recent Monday-evening run a couple weeks ago, with about one mile left of my run, I wanted to get off the main road, but my go-to place to run a few miles without traffic – the campus of a closed school -had the gates up with the ‘Closed’ sign on them. I’m not much of a rule breaker, but (with the encouragement of running muse) I decided to risk it and run through the campus anyway.
After running along the main, lighted and traffic-free road through campus, a security guard stopped me and said politely that when the gates are up, the campus is closed and I’d have to leave. Although, it wasn’t, it felt like a reprimand. My stomach started to churn like it did when I was scolded by a teacher in school. But running muse wasn’t the least bit bothered by the guard’s words. I got my mile and a little bit more in and no harm was done. So what if the guard told me to leave? I was leaving anyway.
Rejection can sometimes seem a lot like a reprimand to me. The words make my stomach churn and I feel like I did something wrong, like I’ve failed.
“Hogwash!” Running muse barks. I did the right thing by submitting my writing. Just because it’s not selected doesn’t mean I’m a failure. I’m only a failure if I don’t submit. Some risks in life are worth taking, especially in regards to my writing. Rejection just makes me stronger, tougher and better. Rejection is a part of the writing process, just as sore knees and blisters are a part of the running process. The important thing is to never give up and keep writing!
I think when my writing muse comes back I’m going to send her to a boot-camp lead by my running muse. She needs some of his discipline!