I enjoy exercising…most of the time. My schedule alternates between running, biking and walking, but honestly, when running days come along, I feel the eensiest bit whiny. It’s too hot…my shoes are too tight…it’s too cloudy…anything, really. Strangely, the best part is the feeling of accomplishment I get when I’m finished, all hot and sweaty, glad that I reached another goal.
Sunday’s whiny little voice was no different, but I laced up and headed out anyhow. The last leg of my run takes me past Joe and Rosemary’s house, set behind some trees.
They’re elderly – I’m guessing in their 80s – and obviously past any exercising days they may have had, because they drive their car down to the box to get the morning paper.
That’s what Joe was doing as I huffed and puffed past their driveway, running along, wishing our driveway was next. (Sensing some whining here?) I waved at Joe, but his attention was directed toward maneuvering the car so he could reach the press box. I ran a few steps, turned around, and waved once more. Joe responded with a big smile and a wave.
It was a simple thing, but it sealed the deal on my last half-mile. Buoyed by that little gesture of happiness, I fairly bounded home.
The writing process can be that way sometimes. I feel like I’m slogging along, not making the progress I want to. Everything is uphill, writing into the wind, so to speak.
At those times, it’s nice to have a little encouragement. Recently, I left a part-time job (read more about that here) to return to writing. I’ve submitted to magazines in the past, and wanted help polishing the way I went about it. I reached out to Peter Mallett, whose blog “Writing in Color” offers supportive and encouraging posts, written in down-to-earth style.
It was just what I needed. Like Joe’s wave, it was a supportive boost that spurred me on.
Writing can be a solitary pursuit, but there are times when it’s important to reach out, with questions, advice, support, giving others that little push they need to finish the race. That feeling when I hit the “send” button on something I’ve written is a little like finishing my morning run – a lot of work, but the feeling of accomplishment is priceless.
When have you benefited from a helping hand? How have you used your talent to help others? That’s what it’s all about!