About a year and a half ago, my good friend Jim O’Brien came to me with an idea: he asked if I would be interested in writing a journal geared towards runners. As someone whose greatest passion is ultrarunning and who also really enjoys writing, I was immediately intrigued by the idea. Along with my friend (and Jim’s stepson) Connor, the three of us set out to determine the things we wanted most out of the journal and what would create the most value for the people who ended up using it. There were three primary foundations of this journal that we ultimately decided upon, all of which really distinguish this journal from most others: no writing prompts, no dates, and multiple authors.
After a lengthy discussion, the three of us determined that the journal would be better without specific writing prompts. I’ve used many journals in the past where the user is prompted to answer something like “how are you feeling?” or “what was a positive experience you had today?” Those types of prompts can provide a lot of value, but generally, I’ve felt that they become monotonous over time (especially if the journal recycles prompts). Instead, we allow the journal entries from the three authors to serve as a pseudo prompt. You won’t be asked a question, but instead, you will be able to read the words of the authors and use that to inspire some thoughts and put the pen to paper.
The next thing we wanted to avoid was the problem I often encountered with journals I’ve used in the past: getting behind. It’s inevitable for most of us who journal that at some point, we will miss a day or more. Personally, when that happens, I start to get a sense of “falling behind,” which then causes my motivation to diminish and increases the chances that I won’t use the journal as frequently (or at all). To account for those who fall into that category, we’ve left the dates blank so that you can journal at whatever pace works for you! Every day? Once per week? Once per month? You write it in, so it’s totally up to you. That way, nobody will ever DNF (Did Not Finish) this journal!
The last thing that sets Chasing Twilight apart from other journals is not only the fact that there are three authors but the fact that those authors are at different places in their running journeys and all live in geographically different areas of the country! I live in Tahoe City, CA; Connor lives in Flagstaff, AZ; and Jim lives in Western Springs, IL. Our perspectives and journal entries have a lot to do with who we are as people, but the environment we live in also influences our writing. As such, I think the audience will appreciate and come to enjoy the different voices and environments we inject into our writing.
Ultimately, our goal was to inspire other runners to put their thoughts on paper, because we’ve seen the value in doing that for ourselves. But even if journaling isn’t for you, we hope to provide value through our own insights and observations about running and the world. Running has a way of teaching us so much about ourselves, and we want to spread that joy to as many people as possible. Chasing Twilight is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble!