Writing a book is like running a marathon

runner shoes

Since writing and publishing my book, I’ve had numerous people tell me how they have a book inside of them, just screaming to get out.

“I think I can write a book,” they say. And you know what?  They CAN write a book. YOU can write a book.

But it’s not as simple as that.

You can’t go from 0 to 60 when writing a novel. If you haven’t been making writing a regular part of your routine, it would be next to impossible to have the stamina to write an entire book.

I mean, you wouldn’t run a marathon without training, right?

The trick is to start small.

I toned up my writing muscle years ago with poetry. Through stanzas of metaphors and similes, prose and drawn out descriptions, I worked at capturing a very small moment and making it larger, painting a picture using only words. (You can read some of that poetry HERE)

And then I focused on writing what I knew – my family. As a single mom with two growing kids, I was never out of material to write about. First I wrote these stories just for me, placing them in my blog at winecountrymom.com. Then my friends started reading, and I had an audience. And then my blog was discovered by the local newspaper I work for, and developed into the job I have now – part of it writing about families with a monthly in-print column.

I dabbled in short stories, journal entries, writing out my feelings… Anything I could write about, I did.  Before it got big, my writing all started small.

And then, I wrote a novel.

Best advice I can give you is to just write every day. Every. Single. Day. Even if you only have time for ten minutes of writing, do it. Describe your surroundings, your feelings, what you ate for breakfast…. Write about anything you want, just as long as you are writing.

You want to write a book?  Do it.  But make sure you’ve stretched and toned up that writing muscle first.  Otherwise, you might injure yourself and never get that book up off the ground.


Crissi Langwell is the debut author of A Symphony of Cicadas.  Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

8 thoughts on “Writing a book is like running a marathon”

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  2. John W. Howell – South Texas Gulf Coast – I have been working in business for over forty years and now have the time to work in special areas of interest. My passion has always been to create compelling stories of fiction. I have authored six novels and am working on my Seventh. The first novel is still in manuscript form and being utilized as a door stop in the laundry room. The second is a contemporary fiction novel of 89,000 words and is complete and I am currently seeking a publisher. I also write poetry but have not had the guts to share any with anyone. The one time I read a piece to a person their only comment was, “it doesn’t rhyme.” I will continue to write and hopefully my blog, Fiction Favorites at www.johnwhowell.com will provide some entertainment and an interesting thought or two. I live in the Austin area with my wife Molly and an assortment of loving pets.

    Oh yeah all my friends can write a book. All my friends want to write a book. None have tried. Great post. I would like to read more so follow it is.

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  4. Nida S. – Canada – Freelance writer. Story teller.

    Your article has left me hopeful and excited. I have wanted to write a book for as long as I can remember. As of now, I am just stretching my writing muscles and I pray that the writing Gods shower their blessings some day

    1. Crissi Langwell – Crissi Langwell writes romance, women's fiction, young adult novels, and more. Her passion is the story of the underdog, and her stories include ones of determined heroines, family issues, free spirits and more. Beyond writing, Crissi is an avid bookworm, loves to meditate, and has tiny muscles from weight lifting. You have to look closely. She pulls her inspiration from the ocean, and breathes freely among redwoods. Crissi and her husband are both Northern California authors with day jobs. Currently they are kicking their kids out the nest (2 down, 1 to go!), and can't help spoiling their beautiful, bratty Maine Coon cat.

      I felt the same way, and NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month – 30 days of writing until you’ve completed a 50,000 word rough draft of a book) totally helped me to break over that barrier of wishing it to be true and making it happen. Keep writing every day, and totally take part in NaNoWriMo. I wrote a blog post about it the other day for more information on what NaNoWriMo is: http://crissilangwell.com/2013/05/20/what-nanowrimo-taught-me-about-writing-a-book/

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