Friday, November 17, 2023

Four Things Writers and Runners Have in Common

by Crystal Bowman

My hubby and kids are marathon runners. Me? Not so much! I’m not a runner but I can walk fast—especially if a dog is chasing me! I recently signed up for a 5K, and as a writer, I found the parallels intriguing. 

4 Ways Writers are Like Runners

1. They set a goal.

Runners set a goal to compete in a 5K, 10K, half marathon, or full marathon. They decide their goal based on what is realistic for them. When I signed up for the 5K my goal was to finish in an hour. 

Writers need to set realistic goals too. If you’re a beginning writer, becoming a New York Times bestselling author might not be realistic. It’s okay to aim high but try setting goals that are attainable. If you have not published a book, then try submitting a story to a compilation series, devotional book, or an online magazine or blog. The goal should be to have your words read by others in a format that will reach the right audience. 

2. They train.

A dedicated runner will train for weeks, months, or even years before running a marathon. Entering the race without training could lead to injury and serious health complications. A runner needs to be in good physical condition on race day. For weeks leading up to my 5K race, I walked an hour a day 5 days a week. Every time I walked, I pushed myself to go a little faster and a little farther. 

Writers need to train! They do that by attending writers’ conferences, working with mentors or coaches, and taking classes. They hone their skills by pushing themselves to learn all they can before entering the publishing race. They write often and are dedicated to working hard. If their writing is strong and in good shape, they increase their chances of reaching their goal.

3. They are disciplined.

Runners run whether they feel like it or not. They have a schedule and stick to it. I’ve seen runners out and about on rainy days, cold days, and blistering hot days. I’m more of a fair-weather walker, so if the weather is bad, I can still get my time in by using a treadmill.

Writers must be disciplined too. They need to set a writing schedule and stick to it. 

They need to write whether they feel like it or not. It’s easy to procrastinate and let other matters become a priority. It takes commitment and disciple to keep those fingers on your keyboard and your you-know-what in the chair. 

4. They cheer for each other.

Something I’ve noticed at running events is the strong, speedy runners who are among the first to cross the finish line, don’t collapse in the grass and bask in their glory. Many of these early finishers walk back to the racecourse and stand on the sidelines cheering for those who are still running—because they know how hard it is.

Writers do that too. Writers who have been published and tasted a bit of success know how hard it is to reach writing goals. They cheer for those who are coming behind them and encourage them to keep going until they make it. 

In conclusion.

I have a passion for writing and a passion for speedwalking and am blessed to be able to do both. I have achieved many of my writing goals with the help from other writers and by the grace of God. And if you are wondering how I did in the 5K? I finished the race in in 48 minutes and finished 4th in my age bracket. Being a senior has some advantages! 


Crystal Bowman is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than 100 books for children and families. She also writes lyrics for children’s piano music and is a monthly contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine, Arise Daily, and Christian Children's Authors. She enjoys coaching children's writers as well as teaching at writers conferences. When she is not writing or speaking, she likes going for walks and spending time with her huggable grandkids. She and her husband live in Michigan and Florida and try to avoid snowstorms.


  1. Crystal, I signed up for my first 5K in 30 years! I'm trying to run it in under 30 minutes. A lofy goal.

    1. I wish you the best! 30 minutes is a lofty goal, for sure!

  2. Great article, Crystal. I'm a runner, and I've written several blog posts about running and writing. One similarity I've noticed is the way both runners and writers have to dig deep to accomplish their goals. We learn a lot about our physical strength and endurance while running, and we learn a lot about our inner selves through writing. They definitely complement each other.

    1. Thank you for your added insight. Digging deep is needed for both!