What Parkrun Taught Me As A Writer by @Philip_Lawrence


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Parkrun. A timed 5 kilometre run held at 9am every Saturday in parks all around the world. Totally free, run by volunteers, Parkrun is a global community of like-minded folks at all ages and abilities linked by a passion. Not unlike LSF!!

I always hated running. Any kind of sport really. I was that fat kid picked last for any team. But 3 years ago I did the NHS ‘Couch to 5k’ program (a gentle 9 week regime that takes you literally from nothing to running 30 mins) and was soon a committed weekly Parkrunner.

It’s no coincidence that in that time my writing career has also taken a few leaps as I discovered there are definite parallels in the mental state of a runner and a writer.

1) EYES ON THE PRIZE. Running gives you motivation and focus. A clear definable goal to reach and the drive to get it done, giving everything you’ve got. Just like working on a script. Should you snooze a few extra minutes or get up and bash out three pages before going to the day job?

2) IT’S A RUN, NOT A RACE. The mantra of Parkrun. Go at YOUR pace. So that pensioner just passed you. Maybe she’s been doing this a bit longer than you. Some people have a natural aptitude, others have to work harder.

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And this is true of our writing careers too. As we come across awesome writers forging ahead with great things, it’s easy to worry ‘Why isn’t that me?’ It will be. Don’t be disheartened when that person goes round you. Use it as motivation. Open your stride, up your game, keep up with them.

3) YOU CAN DO IT. There is a great sense of accomplishment when you’ve finished a run. A moment of euphoria where you look back and think ‘wow, I did that. I didn’t think I had it in me.’

Guess what: You know that novel you’ve been daunted by? That 90 page feature script you’ve been trying to reach the end of? Ok, there may not be anyone clapping when you type ‘Fade Out’ but it’s just as achievable. You CAN get it done.

The one thing you must do in Parkrun, as in writing? KEEP GOING.

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BIO: Philip Lawrence has written for stage and radio including the Doctor Who audios and script edited for comedians and Crossroads: The Reunion. Follow him on Twitter as @Philip_Lawrence.

call_for_submissionsHas a movie, TV show, or something else inspired YOU as a writer?

This is a new series for the blog, “What [TITLE/NAME/THING] Taught Me As A Writer”. Write a short, to the point article and get your message out to the LondonSWF network!

  1. Pick a movie, TV show, screenwriter, object, event – whatever!
  2. Write up to 250-350 words on what it taught you as a writer AND WHY.
  3. Don’t forget your 1-2 sentence bio, plus links to Twitter, blog, etc.
  4. Send a pic (jpg only) if you want us to include a particular one, but do make sure it’s rights-free.
  5. Send it to Lucy V or via Bang2write@aol.com.

Looking forward to reading your posts!