Writers on the Subject of Running

I’ve been doing a lot of running, lately. If it’s not too cold, I run outside. If it is, I use the treadmill in my basement. I approach it as a practice, in much the same way as I do my writing. That is, I schedule time for it. I set goals. I plan out as clear a course as I can, and I do my best to follow it. And so, today, in honor of both running and writing, I bring you the following quotes:

“I am so full of my work that I can’t stop to eat or sleep, or for anything but a daily run.” – Louisa May Alcott

“Running! If there’s any activity happier, more exhilarating, more nourishing to the imagination, I can’t think of what it might be. In ­running the mind flees with the body, the mysterious efflorescence of language seems to pulse in the brain, in rhythm with our feet and the swinging of our arms.” – Joyce Carole Oates

“When I am running my mind empties itself. Everything I think while running is subordinate to the process. The thoughts that impose themselves on me while running are like light gusts of wind – they appear all of a sudden, disappear again and change nothing.” – Haruki Marakami.

“This is the practice school of writing. Like running, the more you do it, the better you get at it. Some days you don’t want to run and you resist every step of the three miles, but you do it anyway. You practice whether you want to or not. You don’t wait around for inspiration and a deep desire to run … – Natalie Goldberg, from Writing Down the Bones.

“Rapid motion through space elates one.”   – James Joyce.

“I give you one more hour, then we step out into the beautiful, money-deaf gift of the world and run.” – Mary Oliver , from The Truro Bear and Other Adventures.

6 thoughts on “Writers on the Subject of Running

  1. I enjoy running (without big old pregnancy belly). It gives me more energy and makes me feel good about myself. The same with writing.

  2. This is cool, Kirsten! I’ve never read these quotes before, but I can totally relate. I try to run at least a few times a week and I always feel SO MUCH better after. I also have lots of writing epiphanies (big and small!) while I’m running. Can’t complain about that!

  3. Great post! I run as well. Too bad my treadmill broke a few weeks ago and it’s freezing outside! I love the feeling of accomplishment after a run — that release of endorphins. Running is great for the body and mind. Good luck with it.
    Great Louisa May Alcott quote. I have Little Women on my dresser. Maybe I’ll read it! (=

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