Be a Streaker
Every year since the fall of 2015, I’ve taken part in a special challenge that I first read about in Runner’s World magazine: Run (at least) one mile every single day between Thanksgiving and January 1.
They call it “streaking”—keeping up a daily running streak during the most difficult weeks of the year, that period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, when you’re most likely not only busier than usual with extra work and errands and cooking, but also tend to be eating in a less healthy way and (if you’re like me) drinking a little more wine than normal!
What’s the point of streaking? As my boyfriend (a former long-distance runner himself) put it: “You put the miles in the bank.”
In other words, by forcing yourself to run, even just a tiny bit, every day—no matter how busy or tired (or hung over) you are—you build your body’s stamina and keep up your fitness, so you don’t lose valuable training during the holidays.
As usual, I imagine you’re wondering what the hell all this has to do with writing.
And, as usual, my answer is: everything.
To become a great runner, you need to run often (even if it’s not every day), so you can “put the miles in the bank.”
To become a great writer, you need to write often—YES, EVERY DAY (because with writing, you don’t risk shin splints or worn-out knees, so you have no legitimate reason to take a rest day)—so you can “put the words in the bank.”
I’m not saying you need to write an entire novel every day. Even with the streaking challenge, it’s only ONE mile (which I’d equate to a few sentences or maybe a solid couple of pages if you’re feeling productive), not an entire marathon each day.
I’ve only been “streaking” with my running since 2015. But I’ve been a streaker when it comes to writing for a lot longer than that.
Back in 2012, I made it one of my New Year’s Resolutions to write every single day, no excuses—not a whole lot, but at least one sentence I could be proud of. Not necessarily more, but never anything less.
Now that we’ve welcomed in the 2019 New Year, I challenge all of you to become streakers, too. Make it your goal, your mission, your “refuse to settle for less” habit to write—at least something—every single day.
Let’s be streakers together.
Happy New Year and all my best wishes for a year of health, happiness, and success in your writing!