I am a runner. Not like some people are runners, but more than I used to be. I train 2-4 times a week and try to run a local 5-8k at least once a month. In the winter that’s hard, though. I live near Buffalo, NY, so I hope that paints enough of a picture.
So I switched to a treadmill for the winter. I thought it was enough, but when the sun broke through the clouds and the pavement began to show through the snow, I moved back outside. I couldn’t believe how different it was. It was like I’d taken the whole winter off.
The same feels true of my writing. Until May, it was like I was practicing. I let people read my work and got it critiqued, and beta “ed”, and my editor had his arms and legs and feet in there, but nothing prepared me for getting it reviewed. The practice was over. This was real.
With wobbly legs and arms shielding my face, I released my baby into the world and hoped and prayed people would take good care of it, and so far they have. I’ve gotten the expected critiques on my grammar. I knew this was coming; I tend to sacrifice the English language for voice. Other than that, I couldn’t be happier.
Practice is good; but if all you do is practice, you never get to see the sun.