is one of the elements.
It keeps things going.“Footsteps” by Fanny Howe
Starting over or starting something new can be scary, whether it’s writing, teaching, or running. Recently, I’ve embarked on a new career opportunity as a copywriter/content writer for Ponya Bands and also developing First Year Composition classes online for the first time. While I’m not new to writing or teaching online, it’s intimidating and overwhelming at times. New mediums/genres, new discussions, new course videos, just a whole lot of new.
Running-wise, I’ve started MAF heart rate training for the second time. I used this training method last summer and fall, running with a low heart rate the majority of the time, and saw great benefits. After a couple of months of stress running, I knew I needed to back off, and the summer heat and humidity kicking in seemed like the perfect time. It’s discouraging to see my pace go down and walk so much, but I know I’ll see the benefits if I hang in there.
While these things seem disparate, I’ve noticed several commonalities. What can I say? I see synchronicity everywhere! Here are 3 tips for starting a writing career, transitioning to teaching online, and running.
Do Your Research
Before embarking on a new adventure, make sure to do your research instead of blindly charging in. It can save you time, money, and, in the case, of running, even injury. Of course, we have information readily available on the internet if we just look, but the large amount of information can be overwhelming. Wading through them seems like a job on its own, so I’ve given some starting places below.
- For freelance writing, sites like The Write Life give you a large variety of information and guides in one place while professional association resources like the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors website can help you network and find training courses. Research individual companies as you search for freelance writing jobs to avoid scam writing mills and unscrupulous clients. If it looks too good to be true, it likely is!
- Many of us have had to transition to online teaching during this pandemic.. EDUCAUSE’s Online Teaching Strategy page is a great place to start for teachers looking to transition to online teaching. Look for resources on your national associations for your discipline as well, like the National Council of Teachers of English for me.
- Groups like the American Trail Runners Association as well as the Road Runners Club of America have great resources and guides available for getting started. If you’re looking for resources in specific training programs or regimens, use our friend Google to find reviews and explanations.
Embarking on something new is especially daunting alone, but luckily, you don’t have to. Whether you’re writing, teaching, or running, seek out local or online groups and/or established experts for advice.
- Go online, find a writer’s group whether on social media or local to you. Writer’s Relief is a good place to start if you’re new to an area. Don’t forget to look at flyers and posters in your local coffee shops and bookstores. It’s old school, but many small writers’ groups, and run clubs, still advertise this way.
- For online teaching, reach out to your school’s Instructional Design department; it’s their specialty after all! At IU Southeast, we have a wonderful ILTE department and staff ready to help with any aspect of translating your course for online delivery.
- If you’re just starting out running, look for local groups online or flyers for run clubs in local running shoe stores. If you’re already racing, look for run groups represented at race expos, working water stops, etc. Talk to them and ask questions as not every running group will be right for you, whether it’s a schedule or pace issue.
Give Yourself Grace
This point, I feel, is the most important no matter what you’re starting or restarting. It will likely take awhile to see results, so be patient and kind to yourself. As writers, teacher, runners, and just plain humans, we’re our own worst critics. Give yourself grace. Stick to your plan and after a few drafts or weeks, evaluate what’s working and what’s not. And if you need a boost, see David Roche’s tweet below:
Starting something new can make you feel like a beginner all over again. Don’t let it beat you down. Take it one step, figuratively or literally, at a time. Do your research, connect with others, and give yourself time and grace. Tell me about your new adventures in the comments below. We can cheer each other on. We all got this!