Triathlon meets Tri-Writathon

This picture is of my husband, Angus and two sons, Adam and Luke having just completed our local Triathlon.

The dictionary’s definition of Triathlon is an athletic occasion where three different events are represented. This got me thinking about writing. Often as writers we are asked to diversify our skills. That is to say, not just to be a novelist but  perhaps a short story fiction writer as well – Thomas Hardy fits this bill and many others. Or not just a fiction writer but also a poet – Hardy again or W.M Thackeray (Vanity Fair). Writers of novels have often followed careers as journalists first – note in modern times, Wendy Holden or Charles Dickens in the nineteenth century. Shakespeare was a poet too (sonnets) as well as a dramatist as was Oscar Wilde. Sometimes it’s a case of more irons in the fire being more lucrative financially but it’s often a challenge to change from one style of writing to another. After training as a journalist and being advised to use plain language and that sparingly it’s been quite a challenge to try and write poetry since, which often likes the use of flowery, descriptive language, or novel writing where a short piece that says it all succinctly can be an impediment to writing a 100,000 word novel!

But the athlete has to manage all three disciplines too. In this example of our local Triathlon, the disciplines are swimming, cycling and running. Many athletes can’t excel at all three disciplines but in order to compete they have to have a go. Most writers (with a few exceptions) won’t excel at everything e.g. we can’t all be good poets, novelists, journalists and dramatists but that shouldn’t stop us from having a go at most of the disciplines. We might even discover a hidden talent in the enterprise. Triathlon, might also be interpreted as the ‘try’ athlon. In other words, give it a go.

About journojohnson

I qualified as a journalist in 2002 and after a period working as a freelance for Gloucester Media writing advertorials, interviews, articles and press releases I have gone on to write for lots of magazines and newspapers, both local and national. I write regularly for the Writers and Readers magazine but have also written for CPO's Inspire, the New Writer, Classic Ford, and Take a Break's My Favourite Recipes among many others. I published my first full-length historical novel. Waireka in 2018 and my romantic novella, Alpha Male in 2016. Both can be found on Amazon. Please follow the links on my book page.
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3 Responses to Triathlon meets Tri-Writathon

  1. Luke Johnson says:

    inspiring blog post as always!


  2. Gill Wyatt says:

    Very true. Might have a go at a different discipline when I next get some free time. Or perhaps I should just have a go at the triathlon! I guess it can be true of many things; the musician usually plays more than one instrument, and the linguist is often accomplished in many languages. It is certainly a challenge to attempt styles which are almost opposing!


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