Friday, April 17, 2015

Making progress...

I started treadmill running about six months ago. (Running outside will require a more civilized locale with less wildlife than my current abode, and better weather!)

At first, knocking out a single mile required alternating walk/run sessions, and those were SLOW. For the last few weeks I've been running 3+ miles (a 5K) three times a week. Wednesday I got my fastest time ever, averaging a little under 11 minutes a mile. (Don't get too excited, that's just barely average for a woman of my age.)

I have a dear friend who is a marathon runner, working her way into ultra running. (Ultra runs are anything longer than a marathon's standard 26.219 miles. Yes, I think that's crazy.)

I've been picking her brain for running wisdom, though, since she started at square one just like me. Her advice? "You can work on speed, or you can work on distance, but you can't work on both at the same time."

It's much the same with writing. Yet how often do we try to apply EVERY. SINGLE. THING. we've learned or heard to our craft all at once? This causes frustration, and often, injury. Injuries require lengthy recovery periods and hinder our progress!

Maybe instead of working on ALL. THE. THINGS., we should focus on ONE thing. That's our assignment for our next meeting (which will be April 25th at 10 a.m. at The Artful Cup in Grand Junction). What ONE THING are you going to work on to improve your craft, and what specifically will you do to accomplish that goal?

Need some suggestions for "one things"?

  • Plotting
  • Character Development
  • Pacing
  • Story Structure

Or, consider these options:

  • Writing a certain amount every day
  • Meeting a weekly writing goal

The point is, we have to be moving forward, making progress... In yoga progress is measured in millimeters. In running, progress is measured in meters, or in seconds (depending on whether you're working on distance or speed). Don't get discouraged, just keep writing! Fifty words is better than zero words. One well-developed outline is better than none! One revised paragraph supersedes an abandoned rough draft.

I hope to see you at our April meeting. We're in the process of getting the official charter for our Western Slope ACFW chapter, and the more of us who get involved, the better our chapter will be!




10 A.M. 

The Artful Cup

Grand Junction, CO

AND... It looks like ACFW executive board member and 2012 ACFW Lifetime Achievement Award winner Allen Arnold will be our first ever official chapter guest in August 2015. Stay tuned for details! It looks to be a most edifying opportunity!