It’s a simple word with two very different, very significant meanings.
It could mean space between two objects or people. Physical or emotional.
It could also mean length of time. Short or long.
In today’s world, we’re caught in this frenzied pace where even microwaves aren’t fast enough. So it’s easy to forget that so much of what we do takes time. And that’s where distance comes in. The important stuff in our lives is usually accomplished through a marathon, not a sprint.
You buy a house and move in, but don’t really think about all the months and months of work that went into building it and making it into a livable place. You eat a wonderful meal at a restaurant and don’t recognize the hours of preparation behind its perfection. You read a book and don’t realize the sweat that went into your enjoyment.
Not that a reader should. Because that’s the goal with writing. A writer toils over words and scenes, sweats over loose threads, agonizes over characterization and the things that make the story entertaining for a reader. And the ironic part is, you hear about so many books that are read in a day or a night or even hours because they were just that good.
But that book took far more time than many could even begin to imagine. And that’s the marathon. A writer thinks up a story they think (hope!) is entertaining, writes it and publishes it. And then that writer goes on to write another. And another. And in that time, readers and fans are won over. This is a good thing because this is what helps build the author’s career and makes fans feel like they’ve found something wonderful.
So if there’s a point to this post it’s this:
The next time you pick up a book — suspense, romance, mystery, science fiction, whatever — read it, and tell your friends about it, tell the author, too! Leave a book review on Amazon or B&N or Goodreads. Tweet them their kudos. Like them on Facebook.
Because it’s the fans’ support that keeps the writing marathon going. It is, after all, what writers live for.
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