While we're on the subject...

A man who’s starting a business in town came to my door yesterday. Somehow our conversation landed on writing and running.

“You’ve been published in Runner’s World?” he asked, admiringly, making my morning. “Hey, I’m sure I read that issue. I have all of them from the past decade or so. I’ll look for it when I get home.”

It’s been eight years this month since my piece, “A Short Running Tail,” appeared in RW. It was about my runs with Brindy. And it was my first (and only, so far) article in a magazine anyone could pick up shopping at Fred Meyer. Of course I enjoyed seeing it in print. Then I received a phone call from a lady in Florida, who told me about her two doggies that she took running. Then, a couple months later, RW’s letters to the editor section carried two or three energetic responses to my story.

What fun. I didn’t know then I would all but cease writing that year, or at least abandon the marketing method (if you could call it such) that I’d practiced.

Life changed, because I went through a theological crisis of sorts. More a new journey than a crisis, I guess. In any case, I’m very glad it happened, since it brought me and my family into the community surrounding Gutenberg College. I may write volumes someday about that ongoing experience.

Why, though, did theology keep me from sending more articles to Runner’s World? Partly, it was a desire to try to strike out on a more literary path. Since I was leaving (or at least becoming unable to satisfy theological particulars anymore for) periodicals such as Moody, I decided to become a different author, if possible.

Partly, too, I was able to write some things for Robby at News & Views, learning in the process more about people I interviewed in our new church family.

And the last part was simply having two homeschooled children who were growing up and needing lots of time and energy. What a gift to participate in that project. It’s almost done today (yay; sob; sniffle; grin).

This past year has given me time to explore the literary path. And to have fun blogging. Looking back, I don’t think I’ve made myself a different author. Perhaps I’ve gleaned artistic flourishes, somewhere.

But lately it’s occurred to me writing is a job. The only one, if I gotta bring in a paycheck (and I do), that I prefer. It’s hard; it’s rewarding, like most occupations. Nothing about it will make me rise above anyone. In fact, it can and does bring out the worst in me, as those who’ve followed my whinings on this site can attest. Yet it’s good for me, too. Thank God, 'cause it’s what I do, paycheck or no.

This evening I looked up the Runner’s World website and noticed their author guidelines caution that it’s difficult to get published in their print version. Mmm, I feel good again. Somehow, though, I doubt they want another column from me. A forty-something woman whose dog has retired and whose top speed on her treadmill is 4.8 mph. Hmm. Think I’ll try more sedentary sources in days to come.


LeiselB said…
good for you on your accomplishments and reconsidering them! I'm still not sure I get what the theological conundrum was that kept you from writing...but i'm glad it's over.
Deanna said…
Yeah, I didn't explain well. Mainly, I no longer wished to write Christian articles containing zippy scriptural fragments, packaged neatly with practical applications and take-away value. Guess I was tired of how artificial I sounded, but that doesn't necessarily mean the Christian magazines I wrote for had my problems.

Thanks, Leisel, for your encouraging words.