Bella’s Scribblings: Running Off A Novel

rp_Bella-185x300111111-185x300-185x3001-185x300.jpgIf you a regular reader of Bella’s Scribblings (firstly – thank you and secondly apologies for any nasty side-effects) you may be aware of my custard cream addiction and fondness for all things cake and chocolate. As I writer I spend a lot of time sat on my backside, which can have frightening consequences for your derriere – the wonderful Jane Wenham-Jones talks eloquently about the curse of Writer’s Bottom in her ‘How to be a Writer’ books.

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that the combination of custard creams and sat on my bum for hours on end does not bode well for the future of my physique. After a particularly good Easter, where copious amounts of chocolate was consumed, I decided I should start doing some exercise. When the laughter had died down I explained that I was serious about it and started to investigate my options.

I embarked on the NHS Choices Couch to 5k program where you start off slowly and gradually increase the amount of time you run for with each session. In total it was only 30 mins each time, but even that small amount of time is tricky to find some days. At first I wondered what the point of this despicable torture was – my lungs sounded like the Hogwarts Express and felt like someone had set off a couple of fireworks in there, my leg muscles were agony and my face was a shade of red never before discovered. However, I survived the pain and discomfort and surprisingly in the comfort of a warm shower I felt good – ridiculously achy but good that I had achieved my goal, without a trip to hospital. I was proud of myself and more than a little bit amazed at what I, a middle-aged unfit asthmatic, could achieve.

I have continued with the program and I’m now running 20 minutes non-stop something I never would have thought possible. There are a striking number of similarities to this and my relationship with writing:

  • Finding or making the time is always a challenge
  • There are always so many other things I could do instead that would be easier
  • Some days it’s really hard going and lonely
  • It does get more comfortable and familiar the more you do it
  • Each time I try to push myself a little bit further
  • Afterwards I feel a sense of achievement (there is a state of mind called a runner’s high – I am pretty sure the writing equivalent is that feeling when you type ‘The End’!)
  • There are very clear benefits:
    • I’m healthier if I run
    • I’m happier if I write

And in my world both are rewarded with a custard cream!

 

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Bella Osborne
Bella’s first novel, It Started at Sunset Cottage was released by Harper Impulse. She was a runner-up for the New Talent Award at the 2013 Festival of Romance and a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

6 Responses to Bella’s Scribblings: Running Off A Novel

  • Barbara says:

    Just finished reading It Started at Sunset Cottage and couldn’t wait to see what other books you had written but was sadly disappointed to find no more! Please hurry and write more as I absolutely loved your style of writing. This is the first time I have ever written to anyone after reading their book so you see what an impression you made on me. so forget running and write!!!

    • Bella says:

      Hi Barbara,
      Thank you so much for getting in touch, you’ve made my day! Really pleased that you enjoyed it.
      The good news is that my second book is due out in the New Year, no date as yet I’m afraid. I have just started work on book three too, so there are definitely more stories on the way 🙂
      Have a brilliant Christmas!
      Bella

  • Helen says:

    I’d not heard of that – it sounds pretty good!

    The other thing is, from my 6 mile a day on-foot commute, I really value that time in the open air with few distractions as it’s really good thinking time. Do you find that too? That you go for a run and you’ll suddenly come up with a brainwave?

    • Bella says:

      Hi Helen thanks for your comment. I find that sometimes it’s good thinking time and sometimes my brain is too occupied with just trying to keep going! But I do occasionally get brainwaves in the shower afterwards!
      Bella

  • I have a friend who swears by that couch potato to 5km plan – she’s now aiming to do a 10Km event in 2016. Perseverance pays off!
    And you’re spot on with the comparisons to writing. It’s often a chore to make myself write and a chore to exercise – but I always feel tons better when I’ve done both. Perhaps writing releases the same ‘feel good’ hormones as running!

    • Bella says:

      Hi Sally thanks for your comment. There are definitely some feel good vibes with both activities. Not sure I’m ready for the 5k yet but I’m getting there! Bella

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