The Marathon of Publishing

I began 2012 with a New Years Resolution to
start jogging. I figured it’d give me the best work out in the shortest amount
of time. Unlike most New Years Resolutions, I actually stuck to this one. My
sister recommended I try an App called “Couch Potato to 5-K.”
Having nothing to lose, and since my only
plan was to just “jog” I took her advice.
Here’s the way the App works. Over
nine-weeks you alternate between walking and jogging. At first, you walk a lot more
than you jog, but by the end of nine weeks, you only walk to warm up and cool
It went something like this:
: Wow, this is so easy. Why haven’t I always
done this! I LOVE jogging! This is my new exercise for-ever!
: Oh my gosh, how many more minutes until I can
walk again? Are you kidding me?  I can’t
do this! These people are insane! Who can do this? This HURTS.
: I will not quit, I will not stop. I am
capable of doing this.
By the end of those nine weeks, discipline
alone kept me grabbing my iPhone and sneakers. It wasn’t fun, but it was no longer painful. It was akin to reaching maturity.
Often while I jog, I mentally compare it to
publishing, encouraging myself to glue myself to my seat when I get back home.
True, I am not experiencing the
“honeymoon” period, where I could write every second and I squirrel
away—and I’ll never-ever-ever-ever get tired of writing.
I’m moving past the second stage, where
I’ve looked at the big picture (writing + the right agent + the right publisher
+ marketing skills + publicity skills + small business skills + lots and lots
of prayer + wondering who can keep up with this?) and feel overwhelmed. 
I’m heading now into the third stage—where in
discipline, I work, I write, I research, I market. And yeah, it’s a lot of work
and not a ‘typical’ life. For a little while, this stage confused me. I
wondered why I wasn’t having “fun.”
But as I jogged recently, I realized that
when an Olympian runner trains, he/she doesn’t think Wow, I’m running and this is great!, It’s not. They don’t think. They
just do. They’re pursing a difficult dream without the promise of reward. And
if they make it, what really counts as they crouch at that starting line, is
the unseen hours of hard work that prepared them for that moment. So they dive in. They simply work. 
So, which stage are you in?