Lauren gave me and Sally a prompt as we left Bend: What do you want to leave here, and what do you want to take with you?

Wilder Retreat: for running and writing. I identify as a runner, not so much as a writer. Some of the parallels were revelations for me.

In the same way that you don’t wait to be inspired to go for a run, you don’t wait to be inspired to write.

Writing is a practice. 10 minutes per day. Or every other day. Or whatever fits in your life. Daily practice trumps binge writing sessions. Don’t look for results every day. Or every month. It’s just practice.


Set an intention for your practice, whether running or writing.


Over time, you will get stronger, whether running or writing.

Write your first draft by hand. Neurologically it is the best way for thoughts to flow. Use a prompt to help. (Example: What I Remember). If you can’t think of anything to write, just keep writing the prompt until something comes into your head. (But don’t get weird like Jack in The Shining.)

Silent running can be powerful medicine, even while running in a group.


The negative chatter in your head while running is physically damaging.


Part of the practice of writing is reading your work aloud. Not to get feedback, but to hear your words. Set guidelines before you do that. One good beginner rule is: no feedback allowed. Nothing. Only, “Thank You.”


Thank you to Lauren, Marianne, and everyone at Wilder. You are in my heart. Let the practice continue.