Why running is like writing

Do you run? I run. I quite like running, eventually… but it’s a real struggle to drag myself out of the door and into the fields.


Empty notepad with a yellow pencil resting on top

Sometimes the struggle is just getting started, and past the distractions.

Because it takes my body at least a mile, sometimes two, to realise that it’s not going to talk me out of doing this. Which means the first couple of miles is just awful. Horrible. Painful.

But then, when my limbs are convinced they’re going to have to just get on with it, I settle down into a rhythm and start enjoying myself. The steady pound of my my feet hitting the ground, the blood rushing through my head, and the birds and insects accompanying me.

Followed, more often than seems reasonable, by the large thud of me falling over something and hitting the floor with my face.

I was thinking about this the other day, and I realised that procrastinating is related to this phenomenon. Not falling over, but your body and mind getting used to the idea that you’re doing something not necessarily as fun as you could be doing.

When I started paying attention, I realised I was right.

When I’ve got a big task to do – like writing my book, or writing this month’s Chronicle for my Inner Circle, or doing a big chunk of work for a client – I put it off. I build it into this thing that has to be done, and I find it difficult to get started.

Then, when I do get started, I spend the first 10 minutes or so getting distracted. Or, rather, struggling against distractions.

If I make it through those 10 minutes, though, I usually get into what’s called a flow state, where I just work hard, get lots done, and it feels almost effortless. And I remember how much I enjoy doing it.

It’s not the work itself that’s not enjoyable; I love that. It’s just that my demented brain forgets, and tries to convince me that we should be faffing around instead.

So if you sometimes struggle to get started, perhaps you have the same problem I do: you just need to give it long enough to remind your brain that this is fun and you enjoy it.

If, though, your problem with getting started is that you’re not sure where to start or how, well then I can help you with that too. You see, I’ve put together a scheme called Borrow My Brain. I’ve decided to make my brain available to you for a modest fee. You can ask me anything at all and I will answer you.

Here’s how it works: you go here, click the button, fill in the form, then book a 30 minute Skype call with me. After the call, I’ll send you a link to the recording so you can keep it forever. I’ve called this service Borrow My Brain.

So you should book a place here.

See you there!



Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.


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