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.

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