At the WritetoDone (https://writetodone.com/) web site, in her article How to Write and Publish Your First Book 2: Beat the Mid-Way Slump; Create a Book, the author Mary Jaksch (yes, I checked the spelling) writes about a slow and steady runner Cliff Young who beat the young and fast “serious” runners.
I Goggled Cliff and here’s a summery.
Cliff Young was 61 when he entered the Sydney to Melbourne ultra-marathon. That’s over 875 kilometers (544 miles). It takes 7 days for serious, trained runners to make it to the end.
He wore regular pants that he cut holes in for ventilation and his work boots. He was up against 10 young men who ran marathons and wore specialized clothes. His running style is still called a shuffle.The racers run 18 hours and then sleep for 4 to 6 hours. Cliff slept for 2 hours and shuffled on.
Five days 14 hours later with little sleep and a steady shuffle he won the race, ten hours ahead of everyone else.
Cliff did prepare. As a young boy on his family’s farm they did not have a car or truck. He would go out during storms and round up the family’s sheep. This would sometimes require running after the sheep and herding them for two or three days in terrible weather. He claimed he always got all the sheep. Before the race he practiced by herding cows on his farm. I have chased after cows and it’s not easy to catch or herd a cow or a bunch of cows.
The next year Cliff entered the race again. He finished seventh place. Hey, he was now 62 years old and suffered a displaced hip during the race, but he finished his second race and he wasn’t last.
They laughed at Cliff when he entered the first race. Maybe someone laughed at you when you told them you were going to write a book.
Finish your book, that is the best revenge you can get from those who laugh at you. It doesn’t matter how fast you write, how new or fancy your computer is, or even if you have a computer, what counts is finishing. Finish, even if you only have a worn down pencil and the back of an old budget print out from work to write on. Rewrite, edit, learn how to make your story the best story it can be. It wasn’t easy for Cliff (try walking 500 miles in two of weeks, that’s 35 miles a day, not impossible, but a lot of walking), and it won’t be easy for you.
This blog begs the question, “Are you a turtle?” If you were in high school in the 60s you’ll know what I’m talking about. My answer is recorded.
If your wondering, there are no tortoise in Australia.
Stay strong, write on, and shuffle past the hare.
Professor Hyram Voltage.