Surprising similarities between running and writing

In early 2017 a friend invited me to do the ‘Round Sheffield Run’. The RSR is a 20KM race across trails, footpaths and parkland around Sheffield. “Sure,” I replied. “Why not?”

Halfway round, I knew I was in trouble. My legs felt like lead, and I felt an ominous twinge in my knee.

By the last stage, I could barely walk, let alone run. I hobbled over the line like a pensioner running for a bus.

I vowed never to do the run again. But since 2017 I’ve been on the course organiser’s email list.

I’m a better runner now than I was then. I run consistently up Sheffield’s (many) hills. I’ve done the Sheffield half marathon twice in the last 12 months.

In January this year, registration for the Round Run opened again. Normally places get snapped up in a few hours. But the next day, I received a second email. “Places still available! Enter now!”

The day after, a third email. “Final few places still available!”

“Sod it,” I thought. “Let’s do it.”

So two weekends ago, I ran the Round Sheffield Run again. This time, my son Hugo left me hanging at the start without a high five…

And I completed the run, pain free, in 1 hour 41 minutes.

Which goes to show, if somebody hasn’t unsubscribed from your emails, keep emailing them! They may be tempted back.

This year I’m doing one big organised run every 3 months throughout the temperate months. I ran the Sheffield Half marathon in March, then the Round Run in June. In September I’m running something called The Big Dipper Half Marathon (just south of here in Dronfield). So there’s always a big run on the horizon; something to aim for.

I believe there are many similarities between running and writing. Both are things you can do naturally, without any specialist training, but both take a long time to master. Consistency matters. Community matters.


Things have been pretty hectic recently, and not for work reasons. Both my kids had chickenpox back to back. Then we’ve been away to Lincolnshire for a week (first holiday in 3 years). The podcast schedule has been thrown off, among other things.

If you’re in any way a creative person (a weekly podcast or email counts as creation), sometimes life explodes in your face. You deal with the explosion, then you get back on the bus.

In having this time off I’ve made a mental commitment (or re-commitment) to write to you every week. I’ve let the ball drop a little recently.

I do have more episodes of the Story Copywriter Podcast planned, plus a couple of guest interviews. I’m also almost ready with the next iteration of my Simple Story Selling book. I started a ‘minor update’ back in May, which has expanded beyond all recognition. The book is now double the size it was! I’m just going through the final edits.

If you already own a copy, there will be a way to get the updated version for free. Please keep an eye out for an email about that.


In terms of client projects, I’ve been helping two clients self-publish books. (I’ll be interviewing one about this soon for the podcast).

I’m looking for a handful of clients at the moment in the coaching and consulting sphere. People who ought to have a compelling book at the heart of their marketing, but currently don’t.

Feel free to send an intro email if you know somebody who fits the bill.


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