You see, writing is a solitary pursuit, as is running. Even when I'm running in a crowd, pushing toward a finish line, I'm by myself, listening to my iPod, doing everything I can to beat my last time. (I know that I am not going to beat the wiry elite runners at the front of the pack. It was a point of pride to be a "seeded" runner this time.)
It's the same with content marketing and copywriting: every white paper, every case study, I'm pushing myself to do better than the last and make my clients even happier, usually as I sit by myself in my office or even work at a cafe - surrounded by people, yet focused on the end goal. I'm competing against myself, striving to exceed expectations and provide even higher quality work than the last assignment.
And just like with running, I surprise myself at times: a wittier phrase than I intended passes through, or I nail a concept neatly. As one client put it, "It's right on the money content-wise and clean as a whistle."
When I ran Saturday, I surprised myself as I passed the first mile marker in a little over eight minutes. I surprised myself because I had no knee pain (I was diagnosed with Runner's Knee in November) throughout and after the race.
But the end result, whether it's a well-crafted piece of content or a 5K, is the same: I feel exhilarated and ready to take on the next challenge.