July 3, 2017

Look to agony for story ideas…

A few months ago I was talking with some friends in the pub about a run they were planning to do, called the Sheffield Round Run. The race is mostly run in pairs.

“I don’t have anyone to enter with,” complained Andy, “because somebody(glaring at Rich) is entering it with Eleanor instead…”

Suddenly, an invisible penny dropped. All eyes turned to me.

“You’re a runner Rob,” said Andy. “Why don’t you enter with me?”

I thought for a moment.

“Because the Round Run is 14 miles,” I replied flatly. “And in my book, that’s 14 times ‘too far’.”

Anyway, fast forward a few months to last weekend, and I’m entered into this damn run. Effectively it’s a half marathon along trails and paths, split into 11 stages with walks in between.

Round Sheffield Run

Eight stages into the race, I knew I had a problem. My knee was flaring up (I had runner’s knee a few years ago). Then at the end of the eighth stage, my left leg seized up with cramp.

At times like that it makes you wonder… why do we do stuff like this?

A client a few years ago reckoned the answer is to do with three types of fun.

  • Type 1 fun is what most people regard as ‘fun’. It feels fun at the time, but the feeling evaporates quickly as soon as the activity ends
  • Type 2 fun doesn’t feel fun at the time, but afterwards you’re glad you challenged yourself to do it
  • Type 3 fun doesn’t feel fun at the time, and doesn’t feel fun in hindsight. BUT it changes your perspective in some way

Next time you’re stuck for something to write about, have a think about all the ‘Type 3’ activities you’ve ever done. Your readers are far more interested in hearing how you’ve suffered through something (and come out the other side), than hearing how wonderful you are.


P.S. We finished in the top 25% of pairs, despite my cramped legs and dodgy knee. Which at the time felt like scant consolation…

Rob Drummond

Rob Drummond runs the Maze Marketing Podcast and Maze Mastery. Rob specialises in content production, ad creation, storytelling and CRM systems. He has two published books, Magnetic Expertise and Simple Story Selling, affordable on Amazon.