Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Never Give Up by Kay DiBianca

I’m a runner. But I wasn’t always. I ran my first 5K a couple of decades ago before I knew anything about training or strategy. That race was the beginning of a journey that taught me significant life lessons, many of which apply to writing. Here are a few:
Enjoy the challenge: After that first race, I jumped into running with both Nikes. But there was a lot to learn about the sport that I didn’t know. Doesn’t that sound a lot like those of us who decided to write a book? We may lack the experience, confidence, and tools to succeed, but we have the desire to accomplish the dream. It’s a good place to start.
Train for success: I acquired all the equipment and knowledge I could, but it isn’t enough to have the right shoes and show up on race day. For every 5K I ran, I must have put in a hundred miles of training. It was hard work but I was getting stronger and faster. Isn’t that the same with writing? Few people can sit down and whip out 80,000 words of first-rate fiction. Even experienced writers have to train by forcing themselves to tone their writing muscles every day.
Anticipate Disappointments: My training runs didn’t always go well. Some days I felt tired and didn’t meet my training goals. There were aches and pains and some injuries along the way. But all runners know that improvement isn’t easy, and it doesn’t come all at once. You pay for it one mile at a time. You accept that there will be setbacks, but you don’t give up. The only failure is if you don’t try. Anybody see the similarities to writing?
Work on Endurance: Training eventually leads to racing, and racing requires even more stamina and determination. Good runners learn to pace themselves through a marathon one mile at a time. Negative thoughts, frustration and discouragement are always close at hand, ready to sabotage your efforts, but you know the real reward is in finishing the race. It’s all about slow and steady progress. Sound familiar?
Find a Good Coach: When I began my novel several years ago, I assumed it would be easy. But like my novice runner self, I soon learned that there was a world of information I didn’t know. And a sophisticated skill set I didn’t have. But just like running, there are plenty of resources for novice writers: books, podcasts, online courses, conferences, and blogs. Professional editors can help an author turn a mediocre manuscript into a polished deliverable.
Never Give Up: I learned that writing strength comes slowly and steadily, through consistent practice and attention to the experts. Like a seasoned runner, the writer keeps her eye on the finish line while carefully navigating the next chapter. And she deals with disappointment and rejection as part of the learning process, but hard work and persistence are bound to pay off.
My novel, The Watch on the Fencepost, will be entering its own race when it’s released on February 22, 2019. I don’t know how it will do when matched up against all the other books out there, but I know all the writing, revising, attending conferences, scouring books on the craft, and working with professionals has made it a much stronger product than it was at the beginning. And a strong finish is better than a strong start. Now it’s time to start training for the next one.

let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…”  -- Hebrews 12:1b


Kay DiBianca holds an MS degree in computer science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has worked in the IT departments of several major corporations, including IBM, International Paper, and FedEx.
Kay is an avid runner and can often be found at a nearby track, on the treadmill, or at a large park near her home. She's completed four marathons, fifteen or so half-marathons, and an unknown number of shorter races. She and her husband, Frank, both compete in Senior Olympics track-and-field events.
Kay and Frank are US representatives for Bridges for Peace, an international Christian organization whose mission is to serve the people of Israel.
Kay and Frank are retired and live in Memphis, Tennessee. "The Watch on the Fencepost" is Kay's first novel. 

You can contact Kay at