I knew from a young age I would never be a long distance runner. I didn’t have it in me. Playing catch on the playground found me sprinting from place to place, but I was easily winded when running from one end of the school yard to the other.
When playing softball during P.E., I was always glad I never hit a home run because I knew I would gas out before third base.
But it’s a little bit different now that I’m a writer. Just like the various types of stories I write, I am finding out that I can be either a sprinter or a long distance writer depending on my mood. Sprinters have to use short bursts of stamina to maintain momentum when getting from point A to point B. Kind of like writing a picture book story. I have a short distance to cover from the beginning of my story and need to make sure every word has the energy to carry it through to the end.
My novels, however, require the long distance endurance of my ability as a writer to create the worlds my characters inhabit. I need to have the skill to carry my reader through thirty thousand, forty thousand, maybe fifty thousand words or more as I weave my spell and work my magic. I keep the distant ending firmly in sight and focus on putting one word in front of the other until my task is complete; much like the long distance runner racing toward the finish line.
So what type of writer are you?
Do you sprint from story to story, quick to create the tales your readers are eagerly waiting for? Or do you take your time, judge your distance, and settle into a pace which carry your words to a successful completion at some point down the road to publication? How we see ourselves reflect in our writer’s voice and it doesn’t matter whether sprinter or long distance runner, just so long as we stay in the race!