Brain Marathons

“To hold a pen is to be at war.” ~ Voltaire

Oh Voltaire, you smart little thinker you.

Last night it felt like I had run a brain marathon. Seriously. My mind was panting, I felt like I was going to collapse, I think I even broke a sweat a time or two. I was pushed to the brink. All without the added benefits of getting my blood pumping and calories torching. Seriously? With that much work, couldn’t I have torched one calorie? Please.

I am not completely off base with my running analogy. As a runner I have trained for races, and this is a bit like that, short runs, long runs translate to short writing sessions to long writing sessions. My brain is definitely getting a work out!

In the NaNoWriMo world and writing groups in general, there is something known as Word Sprints. For a set time, a writer tries to write as much as he or she can.


It can be exhilarating as it can be frustrating. My first sprint went well. While my second beat my first one, I am not going to lie when I say the first three minutes I stared at the screen in utter confusion, and completely lost for words. Until suddenly, the muse struck and my fingers been to fly so quickly across the keyboard, that maybe, just maybe, I am not a muggle after all, but have some of Harry Potter’s magic in me.

Then the sprints end. And you are left gasping for thoughts. Literally. As I responded to people in my writing group, I kept looking down at my keyboard lost in search for the right lettered key I wanted. My brain was kaput. Finite. I wondered if it would ever work again!

Of course part of it was the realization that in a week and a half (though really just a week) I have written almost forty thousand words! No wonder my brain is begging me for some Real Housewives and a hefty glass of wine.

Like with most brain marathons, though, I have surpassed my wildest expectations. I was hoping if I was lucky, to be at twenty-five thousand words. So while the brain marathons are kind of killing me, they are also working well.

As I sink more and more into this challenge I feel myself growing as a writer. Each year it has given me a sense of confidence, that I can do this. This year I have finally felt like I hit my groove. I also find myself investing in this story to the point where it has taken over in an incredible way. I am actually excited for my beta readers (which is a fancy way of saying my friends) to read this and give me feedback. And I am never, EVER excited about that!

How is your writing going? Just remember you can do it! (oh lord I even sound like a coach now!)


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