Daily Archives: August 31, 2009

The Analogy Machine: 3200

It’s Monday, people, and I am in class! But wordpress is smart and even though I wrote this post last week it will appear on the blog at 8 a.m. like magic. And since it’s Monday, it’s time for the second Analogy Machine

…In which I compare writing to random things, like running the two-mile race in track and field.

...runners, take your mark...

...runners, take your mark...

The 3200 lasts forever. Literally forever. It’s eight laps around the track —  two miles or 10,500 feet or 126,000 inches long! I went to track state this spring, (well, I watched it; I’m not a runner but I can cheer) and among other things watched a lot of people run the 3200. It was over ninety degrees that day and there was no wind — just sun beating down on the rack. I was exhausted just sitting in the bleachers fanning my face.

Imagine the 3200.

I didn’t pay attention to the whole race because I got addicted to snow cones and, you know, you have to eat those things pretty fast so they don’t melt into a watery, syrup-y mess. But every time I looked up, expecting the 3200 to be over, the runners were still running. Around and around. Forever.

Why go through the pain?

Well. Me and my analogy-machine might have an answer. Writing a novel is a lot like running the 3200. It takes forever, it’s really hard word, sometimes you just want to stop, and sometimes there is no state trophy.

But I still write novels and some runners still run the 3200. For me, writing is in my blood. I can’t not write, and the pain is part of the fun (sometimes).  I love working through plot problems and fighting through rough-draft query letters and pushing myself to type THE END on second or third drafts. I love characters and words and the satisfaction of reading what I’ve written and — I don’t know. I can’t quite explain it, but I think I was made to write. Maybe the 3200 is in those runners’ blood, too.

Why do you write (or run your 3200)?

Tomorrow: Teaser Tuesday #2!

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