When you run, do you throw your left foot out first, does your right elbow lift higher, do you stick out your left thumb like a hitchhiker, breathe in through your mouth, stomp down on your right foot harder at the heel, slump your shoulders, breathe too heavy?
When you write, do you say "just" too much? Do you start every sentence with "I, A, or The"? Do you overuse commas, exclamation marks, or semicolons? Do you tend to use a lot of passive verbs, cliches, -ing and -ly words?
Do you know your weaknesses, your quirks, and how to deal with them?
When I run, I tend to stick out my left thumb like a hitchhiker. When I notice it, it feels quirky. I want to correct it. I make the conscious effort to make two open fists and place each thumb on the crease created between the index finger and the middle finger. I think about being even, methodical, and relaxing that quirky thumb muscle.
When I write, I tend to use passive verbs in my first drafts. Through each new rewrite, I am more aware of the sloppy language and create stronger verbs, stronger phrases, and a tighter plot. I must be conscious about my quirks, and over time, I will conquer them.
We can stand tall, despite our quirks. We can run strong, despite our weaknesses. We can write well, even when it's hard. We are writers who run and runners who write. Embrace THAT quirk, but never erase it.
What will YOU run/write this coming week?
Keep on keepin' on...