I’m spending my Saturday morning at the Scott Coffee 8k. I’m not running it – my mother is. I could have put on my race gear this morning and joined her, but I opted for flip flops and coffee on the sidelines instead.
I don’t have any real reason to say no to the race, which I’ve run before, except that I didn’t feel like running for a lot of little reasons. This is one of the many places that running and writing overlap. Earlier this week, I turned down a freelance assignment for a lot of little reasons. I could have pushed past them, finished the story, and cashed that check, but I’d have felt the same way as if I had run the 8k: hating it a little bit along the way.
I wish I had some great insight into how I know this – for both running and writing – but getting a feel for when to take on a story or race when there isn’t an obvious reason (the fee isn’t right, the race is far away) is something that’s developed over time. If you’re still new to freelancing, you’ll develop that gut sense too.