More Truth About Myself Than I’d Care to Disclose

I headed out for this morning’s run disappointed I wouldn’t be using the time thinking about the story I’m working on. But I’d read a few blogs at breakfast and saw, to my honest delight, that another writer friend has landed a book deal. Another friend. Now I had feelings to contemplate.

How is it that friends I admire, who consider me as talented as they are and, more importantly, whom I consider myself on par with, have finished manuscripts, landed agents, accepted book deals, or enrolled in MFA programs, while me? I continue to spin in the eddy of the same self-pity cesspool I’ve been treading water in for months. Why can’t I just write my damn manuscript? 

This question niggled my brain as I headed down the driveway at a quick, warming-up walking pace. I’ve got my reasons for having done little more than scratch the surface of my manuscript. They’re all lame and fall under the category of Fear, but they’re reasons none the less. By the time I reached the entrance to my subdivision, I was sufficiently warmed up, both my body and that annoying, self-loathing voice in my head.  I decided to table further discussion with it and concentrate on my workout. I started to run.

My plan had been to “pre-train” until vacation, so that when I return I’ll be ready to put my full-blown training program in action for the October half-marathon. Yeah, that didn’t go as planned. I leave on Friday, and I actually had to walk Monday’s 4.5 mile run because I: hadn’t run for a week; was dehydrated from too many Jack and Cokes the night before; felt bloated after sharing a bag of Rolos with my daughter over the weekend; and I had to pee during the entire course. Bleh.

So as I started to run this morning, I told myself to keep the pace slow, and to keep running. The second I consider walking, my body goes into shutdown mode until I walk. Today, I was determined to run; walking wouldn’t even be a possibility. Slow, steady, manageable jogging pace.

Roughly thirteen minutes later, a voice popped into my head. It said, Hey, Runner Girl. Do you realize you just passed your route’s one mile marker?

I thought, Oh yeah…you’re right. And, I’m still running! Yay me!

And the voice replied, Yeah, yeah, good for you and all that. Keep going. Now, I’m done with you. Get Writer Girl out here. I have something to say to her.

The rest of the conversation went something like this: Don’t you realize that with the same determination, you will achieve positive results with your writing as you do with your running? Stop thinking about the manuscript as a big huge project because that freaks you out. Like your daily workouts, you have to commit yourself to writing every single day, and every time you sit down to write, you need to tap into the determination you used today on this run. When you tire, when you reach the bottom of a hill, when you think you can’t keep going…don’t you stop! You can keep going. And you will progress. And in October you will run 13.1 miles in a race. And you will finish that manuscript.

I ended up running 4 miles today in thirty-eight minutes. I didn’t walk. And Runner Girl? She asked me to tell you she feels great.


About Nicole Ducleroir

I write stories and I run. Sometimes at the same time, though it's really hard to read my handwriting afterwards. *Note to Self: Buy a portable recorder* To read examples of my short fiction, visit and click the Published Work or My Short Stories tabs.
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9 Responses to More Truth About Myself Than I’d Care to Disclose

  1. dm says:

    I know what you mean, and mind is really powerful, days ago I chnged my usual music while running and instead of that I was listening a movie, yes, yes a movie this one was a positive one, “Seven pounds” and do you know what? it was just an experiment, and it worked, I was fully focused on the dialog of the movie and when I realized I was finished my run by mountains not tired, and full of energy. And about your manuscript? are you writting because you love it? if you think that’s the real reason… then free your mind, enjoy writting and forget all the “secondary” reasons. In one video of a runner (one of the best of the world) I watched weeks ago said “No-one told us who we were. No-one told us we should this. No-one told us it would be easy. Someone said we are our dreams, that if we don’t dream, we are not linger alive. Our steps follow our instinct and take us into the unknown. We no longer see the obstacles behind us, but look forward the ones ahead. It’s not about being the fastest, the strongest or the biggest…It’s about being ourselves. We are not just runners, mountaineers or skiers…or even athletes…we are people. We don’t know if we’ll find it, but we’re going in search of happiness. What is it we’re looking for? To be alive? ” He run because he loves it, and when he realized he was not enjoying he decided to stop, and then he started again, look at this short video, and don’t forget main target in life is to live and ENJOY! 🙂

  2. Jeff Bray says:

    For what it’s worth Nicole – I ran a marathon over thirty years ago – and you know the really important thing was – not the time it took nor the place I came – but that I finished the best way I could. Sometimes we complete things in a time and fashion which has a bit of a life of its own. Be good to yourself…..the manuscript will be worth the wait!! Best wishes. Jeff. ps. Haven’t run since……..and that’s ok too.

    • Such wonderful advice, Jeff. I embrace every word you wrote. I’m in awe of runners who can complete whole marathons! In October I’ll run my third half. In the second one, I bested my time by a few minutes and really, if I finish the next one in the same fashion, it’ll be fine. I’m not competitive with myself or others — *as long as I’m doing the work*. And that’s the problem. With my writing stalled, I feel frustrated with myself that I’m not writing. *To write *is an action verb. And I love to write and I have a story to tell, so…I keep asking myself wth is my problem? (Of course, I know the answer.) I’m the only one who can work it out though, and you’re right: “Sometimes we complete things in a time and fashion which has a bit of a life of its own.” Thanks 🙂

  3. Michele Shaw says:

    Oh, Nicole, I think we’ve all been there, or in my case, are there, so I get what you are saying and your frustrations. I sometimes feel as if everyone is passing me by as I sit on the sidelines, though I I really AM moving forward, just not as fast as it *seems* everyone else is. A wise friend once told me (as I whined) that I shouldn’t envy others successes because that is their story, not mine. I need to live my story at whatever pace is meant for me.So that’s what I continue to try to do. Sometimes it’s hard, but giving up isn’t an option. Congrats the run!

    • Hi Michelle! Great to hear from you. It means a lot, hearing that you understand where I’m coming from. I’m glad to hear you’re moving forward. The heart of my problem is that I’m stalled. I’m not moving at all. I don’t envy my friends who are reaping the rewards of their writing; they’re doing the work and deserve their successes. But I’m sick of standing still. No matter what happens, I’m going to overcome this lack of momentum and get writing again. Root for me, k? 🙂

  4. maramcbain says:

    You are one of the most creative people it has ever been my pleasure to know. You know I’m a huge fan of your writing and I admire/envy your drive and determination in everything that you do. Don’t think of it as a book. Don’t think about getting it published. Think of it as a story you want to write .. you HAVE to write .. and let it flow. Sometimes it helps to think of it in smaller chunks. I’m sure you didn’t start out running 4 miles at a time. Set yourself a daily or weekly word count goal. You may not always stick to it … sometimes you will go over it … but it is a goal … something to dangle in front of your nose and fire your competitive spirit. I know you can do this and you will leave the competition in the dust!

    • You’re sweet, Mara! Goal-setting is the way to go, and I know how to do it. And I’m reading Bird By Bird by Ann Lamott, which is really lighting a creative fire under my butt. I’m excited to get writing again. :)))

  5. J.m. Diaz says:

    I can’t run, especially long distance, but I do understand the frustrations of not being able to devote the time to a MS as one would like to. Instead of running, for me it’s I.T. All consuming, time sucking, I.T. I am married to my job, but writing… well, writing is my mistress.

    • Hi! I wish I had a good reason not to write as much as I want to. But I have the time; I just sit there and stare. I’m going to turn it around for myself though. I’m determined.

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