Recently, as I was catching up with a few blogs, I noticed a phrase that appeared repeatedly across the blogosphere: "It’s a marathon." The race was being compared, in several instances, to the task of writing a book. Apparently, as a society, we think that anything that takes determination, endurance, tenacity, and time, is similar to running a marathon. I found my own conclusion a bit amusing: Obviously, most authors don’t realize how easy running a marathon really is! Because, seriously? Finishing a book? Way, way harder.
Then I started contemplating what I thought could be a better metaphor for writing a book. What’s an athletic event that takes as much time, dedication, and belief in one’s self as writing a book? A hundred-miler? Not in my opinion. What about longer races in extreme conditions, like Badwater, or Marathon des Sables? Maybe. But anyway, I really think we need to cut the “it’s a marathon” cliché from our vernacular because it’s just not working for me anymore.
But, and I apologize for this very reachy transition, one of the writers employing this cliché was also one of my favorite bloggers, Nathan Bransford, writing about one of my very favorite authors, J.K. Rowling. Last week he had “Harry Potter Week” on his blog. (Reason #126 that I love Nathan: He shows proper adoration for the Harry Potter series.)
One of his posts was titled, “J.K. Rowling and the Art of Being a Clutch Writer.” (Reason #127: Nathan compares writing to running, even if he does say “it’s a marathon.” I love you, Nathan.) He ultimately says that J.K. is a clutch writer because she pushed on, beneath massive amounts of pressure, to continue delivering amazing books, and, finally, one of the most believable, satisfying, and well done conclusions to a series, in spite of gigantic expectations. Now that is clutch.
This all led me to realize something incredibly important, something I’d forgotten about in all my busyness and adventuring.
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” opens this Friday!
True, not nearly as eventful as when the book came out, but since there are no more books in the series, I’ll take what I can get. And yes, it’s only part one, so we can drag the anticipation of the finale out just a bit longer to July. Sounds good to me!
Check out Nathan’s Harry Potter week posts:
Harry Potter Week: Who is Your Favorite Character?
Five Writing Tips from Reading J.K. Rowling's HARRY POTTER
Which Harry Potter Book is the Best?
J.K. Rowling and the Art of Being a Clutch Writer
This Week in Books: A collection of Harry Potter blog posts
And let the movie trailer get you psyched if you aren’t already.
Meanwhile, I’m going to try to get in touch with J.K. and challenge her to a marathon.