10 Miles

I just finished a ten mile race; it’s the third time I’ve done it. In past years I’ve trained physically and mentally, have registered admirable times and have felt energized afterwards.

This year I didn’t have time to train and didn’t even plan on running it until the last minute. I stepped off an airplane, got four hours sleep and showed up at the start line dehydrated, fatigued and wearing the wrong socks.

It was a hellish race; torture from start to finish. My worst time ever. Now, post-race, my muscles ache and my feet are covered in blisters.

Why am I telling you this? Because most of us approach writing a novel the same way I approached the Tely 10. We tell ourselves that we don’t have time to develop a daily writing routine. We kid ourselves that we can sit down one day, unprepared, and in one great burst of energy and will, produce a novel for the ages.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Sure, we might actually manage to crank out a book but will it be our best work? Writing, like running, rewards consistent effort over time.


About the author 

Valerie Francis

Valerie Francis is a bestselling author, literary editor, and podcaster with a passion for stories by, for and about women.

Each month, Valerie recommends books from literature’s best female authors. Selections come from every genre because women write, and read, in every genre. The Women’s Fiction category offers up some terrific novels, but these days there’s a strong female presence in thriller, horror, crime, and other genres traditionally dominated by male writers. No matter what the publishing companies may think, in the 21st Century, Women’s Fiction is whatever we want it to be.

stories for women, by women, and about women

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