Writing is the new Running
One of the more intriguing things to me about pop culture is the portraying of “running” as a person. The first I had heard of this was in the Mel Gibson movie “What Women Want,” where the hit ad campaign concocted by Mel and Helen’s characters features a Nike shoe campaign aimed at female runners.
“You don’t stand in front of a mirror before a run…
and wonder what the road will think of your outfit.
You don’t have to listen to its jokes and pretend they’re funny.
It would not be easier to run if you dressed sexier.
The road doesn’t notice if you’re not wearing lipstick.
It does not care how old you are.
You do not feel uncomfortable… because you make more money
than the road.
And you can call on the road whenever you feel like it,
whether it’s been a day… or a couple of hours
since your last date.
The only thing the road cares about…
is that you pay it a visit once in a while.”
Since then, I’ve seen a number of ads promoting “running” as this anthropomorphic person all runners have an intimate relationship with. This person even wrote a blog about it (http://www.irunfar.com/2014/09/my-relationship-with-running.html) Even recently I heard a commercial saying “Running does not like the shoes you bought for it,” as if Running is going to dump you for another runner with better shoes. I personally think the metaphor has been taken to a ludicrous extreme, but that is the nature of advertising. I’m actually impressed that the meme has lasted this long.
But that got me to thinking. Why should Running have all the fun? What about those of us who might not have had relations with Running, but have instead courted someone else? Someone, like, maybe…Writing? Pretty much everything you can associate with the amount of discipline, dedication and passion it takes to be a serious runner you can also apply to being a writer. Writing can be every bit as fickle a mistress as running; every bit as time and life-consuming, every bit as painful (although in different ways) and mentally taxing, with just as much chance of ostracizing you from so-called “normal” people. Non-runners will never understand why runners run. Non-writers will never understand why writers write.
So let’s change the metaphor a little bit. Let’s take all of those cool sayings and catchphrases for running, take the word “running” out and replace with the word “writing.” The road is now the page. Your trusty pair of running shoes is now your favorite writing pen (or your laptop) What would a Nike commercial for “Writing” be?
“There are clubs you can’t belong to.
Neighborhoods you can’t live in.
Schools you can’t get into.
But the page is always open. Write.”
“Write happy. Write grumpy. Write speedy. Write slow. Just write.”
“The biggest mistake a writer can make is to be afraid of making one.”
“If you want to become the best writer you can be, start now. Don’t spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it.”
See how easy that is?
And check out my post today on RJ Mirabal’s blog.