I am writing a book

As everyone knows, the city of London on a Saturday morning is as empty as a marathon runners glucose store at mile 24 and with not even a sniff of last nights partying bankers, the sudden onset of winter and the bleak damp concrete around Bank had me feeling far from chirpy at 8.47 this morning.

As I descend the winding viaduct stairs towards the glass doors of the mermaid theatre a surge of unworthiness hit me. Would I stick out like a sore thumb, identified as the fraud I sometimes feel like. Remind me why I signed up for this again?

In the plush dimly lit foyer I found a gaggle of well dressed middle-aged women decorating the walls with their filter coffees and travel cases waiting for registration to begin. I’d got it right as far as my writers look was going at least, with my chunky scarf, tussled hair and brogues helping me to fit in, the only thing missing was a pair of spectacles but last years laser surgery but a stop to that.

I heard that the first rule of blogging, is you never talk about blogging…hang on a minute that’s fight club right? and besides what’s wrong with going a little postmodern anyway? Maybe it’s about time I deconstructing this online monster which has overtaken my life (in a good way I might add) over the last few months.

Anyway, my secret is out, I am writing a book…and today I am at a writers event organised by Mind, Body and Soul publishers Hay House. Can you think of anything more intimidating than two hundred eager wanna be writers stuffed into a room with strip lighting and the distant hum of air conditioning – whats more there is a fantastic publishing deal up for grabs for one of us eager aspiring writers.

“Grab the readers by the throat right from the start” says successful writer Lynne McTaggart – well that’s me out of the running I guess, well unless I go back and cut the first 300 words of this post – But where’s the fun in that, especially seeing as I have written this part of the post whilst propped up against a bus stop in St.Paul’s waiting for the number 25 bus to show up.

Ahh it’s arrived, right on cue. Now where was I…Ok, yes so basically I am on this two day course to explore the concept of writing a book based on my blog. I know, blah, blah, blah everyone and their dog (literally) are turning their blogs into books these days…but of course mine would be…I mean will be different. There’s nobody quite as qualified as me to tell my story after all is there? And hidden amongst my 165 posts there is a cracker of a book, and as Doreen Virtue another of Hay Houses successful authors so clearly put it, “if it’s going to be, it’s up to me”

Now bearing in mind I’m only at the end of day 1, I’m already starting to collect my thoughts on the matter – it’s hard not to considering the quality of speakers we have had today, including CEO of Hay House, Reid Tracey and simply the hours of headspace this course has allowed me…a luxury in my busy life as a new mum, unemployed bum and athlete.

So my book is gonna be one of narrative non fiction, a how to book told through the structure of a story. A practical guide to running for overweight women but with the powerful and emotive stories of my fattymustrun marathon challenge recruits and of course my personal tale weaving seamlessly throughout, tying it all together.

…Still with me???

One of the things I’m really excited about exploring now more than ever is the idea that positive affirmations can change your life. In the context of running, something along the lines of its not your body letting you down but your thoughts. This is a concept inherent to much of the Hay House back catalogue, and central to many of the speakers we heard from today. But how does it ring true for me?

Reflectively I look back on my journey thus far, to April 2012, mile 25 of the London Marathon in fact and think back to the months of worry about if I would make it, telling myself pigheadedly in the way I often do, that I had to. Getting my place, making it to the start line in one piece, raising my sponsorship money…all milestones in themselves. But what sticks in my mind most is that moment, 5 hours or so into the race, the weather had just changed as I ran past Tower Bridge for the second time, with the runners and spectators well spaced out now as we approached the later stages of this momentous event.

My hips hurt like I’d just had major surgery on them both, the blister evolving on the ball of my left foot was threatening to burst and a cold breeze blowed through the trees along embankment and irritated my goose pimpled skin.

By this point the crowds were picking out runners by name and really cheering me on. Every muscle in my body wanted to stop, including the ones helping me to think. The lump in my throat was actually making it difficult to breath, resulting in a weird gurgling sound that escaped without permission. And my eyes had welled up with emotion. The tears mixing with the light rain and the grainy sweat that covered my face, and the mascara I had stupidly put on at crazy o’clock this morning hanging on for dear life.

“You can do this Julie”, I said to myself, echoing what the crowd were also telling me. “You are awesome”…ok so not quite the words I would use whilst describing myself but what the heck, something had to keep these legs moving.

Without a doubt I was having an out of body experience, I was running but I didn’t know how I could possibly be doing so if that made sense. At the sides of the road charity workers bashed inflatable sticks together in unison, shook coloured pom poms and shouted kind, motivating things through loud speakers. Couples in matching windbreaker jackets braving the worsening by the minute weather clapped politely in a way only the British do, too well behaved to leave before the end of the race.

I plodded on ignoring the pain and before you knew it I was turning into the mall, coinciding with an almighty downpour. Typical. This was the moment I had been dreaming of for years, the moment that many people including some of those closest to me doubted I would ever achieve. I mean I was almost 20 stone when I announced “I’m gonna run the London Marathon in 2012”, and we all know that fat people don’t run marathons…well those with any sense anyway. So with less than 300 yards I told myself, “come on Ju you’ve got this” and I took it up a gear, I’m sure I wasn’t sprinting but I was moving as fast as I possibly could under the circumstances, overtaking a few stragglers as I went.

I had done it. The grandstands were empty, the BBCs cameras had long gone home, and the winners were probably already in the departure lounge waiting for their flight back to Kenya, but none of that mattered. I crossed the line in 5 hours 50 minutes and 37 seconds having just run 26.2 miles around London.

You know that saying “if you think you can, or you think you can’t, you are probably right”, well I thought I could, I told myself I could and I did. And that is the key message that I so desperately want to get out there via that old fashioned medium of printed media, i.e. a book…or even an ebook I suppose if that doesn’t quite work out. But either way I am on a mission to share my fattymustrun message.

So I suppose the question to my loyal readers is…

Is there a market for such a book, and what areas should it cover??

7 Responses to “I am writing a book”
  1. mariekeates says:

    Writing for a living has long been my dream. I guess the first step is just doing it ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I’d like to read it ๐Ÿ™‚ I only started running 10 weeks ago so I still have much to learn and it sounds like you have some words of wisdom and inspiration to share.
    Today my run was tough because I didn’t manage to drown out the negative thoughts. You’re right “if you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re probably right”

    • fattymustrun says:

      The battle with your body is of course only one part of the running fight, it’s overcoming the tug of war with your mind that is the most difficult.

      So many runners give up in the first 2 minutes or so, the 2 minutes that all runners find so challenging…I’m sure it takes those first few minutes for your brain to accept you are choosing this exercise and by ignoring the strong desire to stop you soon get the headspace you need to start enjoying your run and concentrating on improving your performance.

  3. Hi Julie, I met spoke to you at the break on the second day. As I said to you when we spoke, I think your book idea has definitely got legs, big fat ones! You most certainly should run with it. You’re already past the starting blocks with your blog and audience. Be good to keep in touch, as we both need some moral support with the writing process.

  4. Hey, I was at the workshop too. Its great to meet some like minded people. I would say write from your heart, not from what others tell you.Would love a return follow. http://www.breakthroughyourjourney.com

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