“The two hardest things about writing are starting and not stopping.”

This is what I heard when I started up the car on Wednesday morning and the radio came on. I’ve always liked The Writer’s Almanac, one, because I like Garrison Keillor (he could tell me that I was about to have my toenails ripped out, but his voice is so soothing that I wouldn’t care), and two, it’s sometimes the only connection I have to literature and poetry, two things I used to love but don’t really have time for now. Wednesday’s show was particularly amazing, considering it was Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Betty Friedan’s birthday, and the poem of the day was by Whitman. The poem particularly touched me because it was about the terrible uncertainties of life, and how that one special person can make things seem so much easier, so sure. The whole show just put a smile on my face, something that rarely happens these days.

But ol’ Garrison really hit the nail on the head with the Stewart O’Nan quote. Some days, the thought of having to sit down and write is unthinkable (“How ’bout that toenail extraction?”), but then once I start writing, it’s as if my entire dissertation wants to be written in the next 2 hours. Words pour forth from my fingers, and it almost pains me to have to stop. I finished my first chapter today, and I’m thinking I may be able to do Chapter 3 in a day or two. Famous last words, they say.

I also ran my first real 5K this morning. Yesterday, in some moment of insanity, I thought that it would be a good idea for me to try to run 3 miles to make sure that I’d be OK for the run. So I ran 3 miles yesterday afternoon, and then did the 5K this morning. After not running since the middle of June 2008. Smart! Now I’m kind of in a world of hurt, but I’m proud of myself for doing it. Maybe this is what I need to get back into the whole running thing again.