“The marathon is a long-distance race with an official distance of 42.195 kilometres, usually run as a road race. The event was instituted in commemoration of the fabled run of the Greek soldier Pheidippides, a messenger from the Battle of Marathon to Athens, who reported the victory. Wikipedia“
Perseverance – The Writing-Marathon-Fatigue of the Middle.
The marathon is a long-distance race with an official distance of 42.195 kilometers (approximately 26 miles 385 yards), usually run as a road race. The first-ever marathon that was officially organized was held during the Athens Olympics in 1896. However, the original race is surrounded by legend that dates all the way back to 490 BC. According to legend, the Greek messenger Pheidippides had to run from the battlefield in Marathon all the way to Athens to announce the defeat of the Persians.
The distance of this epic run was 25 miles and according to legend, as soon as he had delivered the message Pheidippides died of exhaustion. The original footrace was called a marathon in honor of the legend and as a result, it also covered 25 miles. The marathon ran from the original site in Marathon to the Olympic Stadium in the city of Athens.
In 1908, the Olympics were held in London and at the request of Queen Alexandra, it was decided to set the course to run from Windsor Castle all the way to the Royal Box that was located at White City Stadium. This extended the course slightly to the current 26.2 miles and in order to keep the records straight and make it easier for competitors to train the distance of 26.2 miles was standardized in 1921.
The Marathon is the race that best describes the book writing process. It’s a long-distance race as opposed to a sprint that you do and get over with. One word that goes hand-in-hand with running a marathon is:
which is defined as persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
Writing is not easy, it is an emotionally grueling occupation that easily takes a toll on the writer. There will be many times when you will anguish over the plot or flow of your story. It has been said that a writer must open an emotional vein and bleed on the page. This is the price you must pay if you want your readers to experience the truth in the stories you craft.
Writing is torturous, but it’s also fulfilling — and at times glorious. When the time comes, and it will come if you keep working at it, the reward of seeing your book in print is like no other. And from that moment forward, you will call yourself a published author – but only if you have perseverance.
You are probably going to quit writing your book due to the marathon-fatigue that occurs at about the middle period of the writing process. When you started, you had a great concept and the opening was stunning. You can even see the convincing ending. However, towards the middle, you start to feel like you don’t have enough cool stuff and the time to be creative enough to fill the middle. You have to stick to your outline.
Do not feel isolated. This happens to most of us, writers. The inspiration starts to feel like it’s wearing off, keeping the pace and tension gets harder, and it’s easy to run out of steam. This is not the time to quit. Force yourself back to your structure, and keep up with the writing.
It is at this point that you must remind yourself why you started on the book in the first place. It isn’t just that you want to be an author. You have something to say. You want to reach the masses with your message. And above all, God caused you both to will and do this book. Yes, it’s hard. Every time. But don’t panic or do anything rash, like surrendering. Embrace the challenge of the middle as part of the process. If it were easy, anyone could do it – and you are not anyone!
If you are really struggling and lacking the inspiration, take more time in prayer and reading of the Word. These are two key avenues that the Holy Spirit communicates with us. Allow Him to inspire your writing. Re-energize yourself in the Giver of the content and allow the river banks within you to burst open!
And finally, take care of yourself, Spirit, Soul, Emotions, and Body. When you are healthy in all these aspects, you will be able to give your book project the rightful priority and time that is required. Do whatever it takes to stay stimulated.
1. Don’t be afraid to fail. Perseverance comes from failing and getting back up.
2. Be 1% better every day. Having a growth mindset is a great way to increase perseverance and motivation.
3. Begin to take risks. By learning to take risks, you raise the probability of facing more difficult situations. When in those difficult situations, if you can learn to adapt and understand what steps are necessary to keep moving in the right direction, you will grow.
4. Understand resistance. Identify what it is that tries to hold you back. When one can name the resistance, it loses its power and there is more room for perseverance.
5. Exercise regularly. Apply the 40% rule. The rule is that if you complete 40% of the task, your likelihood of quitting drops drastically. I believe that the No. 1 way to develop this skill is physical training. Lifting weights, doing sprints or even some endurance training is guaranteed to carry over to your mental resilience.
6. Build a network of support. If you want to learn how to persevere, you should build a network of support. Building a network of support that includes family, friends, co-workers, and peers will allow you to have a comfortable place to open up and get feedback and encouragement during hard times. Whenever something goes wrong, you can turn to your network of support and talk through what’s going on.
7. Keep your goals in mind. When we make mistakes or fail, many people will be tempted to give up altogether. Instead, if you want to persevere, keep your goals in mind at all times.
8. Set clear benchmarks. Success can be a long and tough journey. I suggest instilling benchmarks to provide yourself rewards or encouragement along the way. The rewards can be anything from a fancy lunch to new clothes or a weekend vacation. The benchmarks will keep reminding you of the progress you have made. Additionally, the reward helps provide continued motivation to persevere through difficult times.
9. Remember your ‘why.’ What was the original reason you set out on this path? Reflecting on that should remind you that this journey is worth your time.