Shifting Your Way of Thinking – AKA Jolene waxes philosophical

So, I finally got new running shoes today. I’m owed a tax return for the first time in a long time (YAY!) because I made less money (NOT SO MUCH YAY), and I was in desperate need of new running shoes.

This spring, like every other time, I expected to get that runner’s high I used to get in high school and college and even just a few years ago when I really got into running again.

But it hasn’t happened.

Instead, as soon as I fall back into walking I can feel my mind relax and my body push forward with renewed energy.

So, clearly, I had on the wrong shoes, right?


Today, I had on my new fantastic shoes, and I ran for a chunk, and it was…okay. I mean, I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it. What I missed out on was the relaxation I get from walking.

I’ve traded out my cross-training and Jillian Michaels for yoga. I don’t miss those, and honestly, my legs and arms are stronger doing yoga than they were with either of the other programs, plus I get the added benefit of the relaxation and BREATHING.

Here’s what I’ve decided. I have changed how I view the way I work out. The euphoria I used to find in those difficult workouts, I now get when I nail a sentence, or find the missing piece of a plot. I get that lovely head rush, and short burst of adrenaline that push me through (or keep me awake at night). So when I work out, I want to slow down but still find that strength for my body instead of searching for that euphoria or rush.

What’s hard to reconcile, is how big a CHANGE that is for me. I was on my last mile today, and I was like – WHY DO YOU KEEP TRYING TO RUN, JO? YOU’RE REALLY ENJOYING THIS WALK. WHY NOT KEEP WALKING?

Um… I really didn’t have an answer for that. So now I’m okay with being okay about just walking. Seems SO very simple, doesn’t it?

And yes, I promise this post is also about writing.

Since I started writing, my novels and stories have all been character driven – THAT’S where I get my excitement, motivation and plot ideas from. But… But the last couple book ideas I’ve had are more plot-driven. And again, as I was walking today I realized that I was trying to write plot-driven novels the same way I write character-driven novels. And that’s not going to work. I expected that with all this writing experience behind me, I’d just get better and faster. And while that’s true to an extent, I also need to expect that my methods are going to change. And have to change if I want to grow as a writer (and I do).

I think my point is that – IF SOMETHING ISN’T WORKING, TRY SOMETHING NEW, and instead of being baffled when it works, embrace the change.

I used to work on character driven novels where the plot points would come as a surprise as my characters navigated obstacles. Now, I’m working on two plot driven novels, where my surprises are going to come from my characters’ reactions, rather than plot point.

And again… I’m going to have to find a way to be okay with that. (This means, I need to put on my big girl plotting pants 😉 Because until now, helping others plot their novels has been a high point for me, plotting my own has been just a necessary part of the process. So, I’m shifting the way I work on my books – at least for these particular few I have in mind…

And that’s your philosophical moment of the day.

~ Jo

P.S. Writing conferences are really good places to learn new tricks…just sayin’

P.P.S. For anyone interested in helping me spread the word about LOVE BLIND on or just after release day, I have a google.doc here. I promise you’ll be entered to win some Amazon bucks, but have the added benefit of helping me out 😉 That form is HERE And yes, I balk at the formality of FORMS, rather than just PROMISES TO HELP. But my brain, just like my running legs, isn’t what it used to be…


Published by Jolene Perry

Hiker. Occasional Yogi. Equestrian. Couch potato. Music lover. Mediocre guitar player. Sailor. Tailor. Home body. Traveler. Enjoys suffering from being interested in everything. Co-founder and instructor at Waypoint Author Academy. Rep'd by Amy Bishop of Dystel, Goderich, and Bourret.

2 thoughts on “Shifting Your Way of Thinking – AKA Jolene waxes philosophical

  1. The story I’m working on now is plot driven too. (All done, just in the beta and edit stage.) And the story I’ve got percolating is too. And I think you’re right about those plot points. I’m thinking I’m gonna have to establish those–do more planning than pantsing than I usually do.

    The thing I’m worried about now though is, is the character arc enough? Most of my reading has been in those YA character driven novels, where I want that person to grow and change. And with this one, it’s more about what’s happening to him. So is that change that happens to him enough?

    We’ll see, I guess.

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