I have so many thoughts swimming in my head right now, but the one that stands out bright and sharp is this – a deep yearning to constantly develop myself as a writer.
This morning, when my writer friend Nicole‘s newsletter found itself in my inbox, I clicked on a link to an article she’d written on the lessons distance running can teach you about writing.
I’ve never been a fan of running, much less marathons that stretch for miles, but I devoured her words of advice like a fish released again into water.
You see, now that I’ve gotten time and space to hone my writing and sharpen my craft, I want to fully embrace this new journey as a writer.
I’ve always written; since I was a girl at ten years of age, and I’ve never once stopped.
Yet writing before was always more of an emotional getaway, an escape from real life or work or feelings of hurt and anger. Writing back then was always present but more of a hobby, a sideline, something I’d indulge in when time and energy permitted. I’d write at least monthly, sometimes weekly, but never did I write daily.
Never did I have the luxury to put my writing first; nor the energy to dedicate myself to its continual improvement.
Now I do.
And when I wake up every single day, I set aside a couple of hours to put words on a page; to develop stray ideas that have randomly formed and are swirling around without a home; to simply show up and practice.
Sometimes a writer’s journey can get lonely though, because the nature of writing often requires silence and being alone to hear my thoughts speak to me.
Since I no longer have to go to any office for a nine-to-five job where there are colleagues to joke with and just chat, I’m usually at my desk typing away at my laptop, with only my thoughts and the half-filled glass of water for company.
In Nicole’s wise words, writing as a career is akin to a long-distance marathon, where the middle is often the toughest part.
There’ll be moments where there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight, or when you’ve come to a standstill and are dried of inspiration, but that just means that we’re in the middle. Long-distance runners focus their energy on keeping an even pace, even when there are few cheerleaders along the path, and there they go, pounding on the pavement again, one foot after another.
As with any other sport, it’s often easy to envy the other runner whose a few yards ahead, and lose momentum in a race. But experienced long-distance runners know that apart from trying to beat rivals and records, what’s important is that they break their own personal best.
In the same way, writers may sometimes compare ourselves with others who are further along the journey and feel discouraged. Nicole reminds us that what matters is that we’re constantly growing and evolving in the process, and that essentially, all of us have our own draft to outline and our own story to tell. So release the worries and comparison, and focus on the tale that’s being written in our hearts, and race only against yourself.
To quote Nicole, “We have to remember that writing chose us, and because the urge to write and create is inside of us whether we’re listening for the words or not, it’s always better to keep running, keep writing, and move closer to the finish line we were meant to cross.”
Her words are like an oasis in the dessert, and I feel refreshed, inspired and ready to continue this lifelong race.
What better way to prepare and get energy for that than a breakfast that’s packed with nutrients and energy?
Here’s a breakfast for champions – warm baked eggs with wilted spinach and sautéed mushrooms, paired with a toast or two.
Now eat up, and let’s keep running.
- 2 eggs
- 4 cups of fresh spinach leaves
- 2 cups of sliced mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons of chopped spring onions, for garnishing
- 2 slices of gluten-free toast, optional
- Pre-heat oven to 375 deg Fahrenheit (190 deg Celsius)
- In a large saucepan, melt a bit of butter and spread it out
- Lay out the sliced mushrooms in a single layer and let them cook on medium heat until golden brown on the bottom side, then flip over and wait for the other side to brown
- When mushrooms are done, remove from pan and set aside
- Add a glug of olive oil to the same pan, and throw in the spinach leaves, moving them around until they have wilted slightly, then remove pan from heat
- Mix in sautéed mushrooms with the spinach and then season with salt and pepper
- Divide mushroom-spinach mixture evenly between two large ramekins
- Crack an egg in each ramekin (making sure that the yolk remains intact)
- Bake in oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until the egg white is cooked through
- Serve hot with toast or even eat alone