Today I'm very excited to be part of the blog tour for Nicola's latest book, Lola Offline. It is an amazing premise and next on my list to read. I admit that I haven't read anything by her in the past but that will change. Today I have a guest post prepared, How Running helped her with life in Lola's eyes and but also in Nicola's. It's such a great piece that it makes me want to run too. But before that, here is a little more about Lola Offline.
by Nicola Doherty
Publisher - Orion Books
Release Date - 10th August 2017
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository
A teen romantic comedy set in Paris - perfect for fans of Holly Bourne, Sophie Kinsella and Stephanie Perkins.
Delilah Hoover has gone dark.
She's left school, changed her name and moved to Paris. It's not what she planned but there's no other choice, because she did something bad. Something nobody will forget. It made her trend on Twitter, and it's the first thing that comes up when you google her.
Paris is a new start, with new friends - like socially inept geek Ben, keyboard warrior Vee, and the impossibly perfect Tariq, but could the City of Lights offer more? Awkward dates, accidental afternoon drunkness and a perfect kiss; Delilah's life as a normal teenager is seemingly back on track, or is it?
Sometimes learning to be happy with yourself is the hardest lesson of all.
How running helps me write
Of course you don’t have to be a runner to write. Dickens never owned a pair of Asic trainers or nutrition gels. But it helps. Running gives you physical stamina, which is useful when you’ve been going for six hours and still have 10 pages to rewrite. But even more important is the mental stamina it develops – the ability to keep on going through doubts and rejections, and eventually get to where you want to be.
Here are the 5 pieces of running advice that have helped me most with writing …
1) Just do it
You can talk endlessly about form, nutrition, high-tech fabrics … but running comes down to getting out there and pounding out the miles. Similarly, you don’t need writing classes, special software or a sabbatical: just the willingness to sit and claw your way through the story, one page, paragraph or even line at a time.
2) Aim to complete, not compete
When I entered my first half marathon, I was advised not to worry about my time, but just focus on getting over the finishing line without an injury. This is great advice when you’re working on your first draft – of any work. It doesn’t have to be perfect; it doesn’t even have to be any good. You just have to finish it, and then you can improve it.
3) Get a support group
Running is highly individual and suited to people who like to be alone, but there’s also a lot of solidarity. As soon as you start running, all kinds of running fanatics will come out of the woodwork and start cheering you on. You’ll run faster with a running club than you ever would on your own. Similarly, joining a writer’s group – real or online – is a brilliant way to get feedback and encouragement.
4) Run when you’re tired
At one point, when I was rewriting my first book, I became so fed up with it that I nearly abandoned it. I felt it was pointless, and as a friend put it it felt like going back to a ‘congealed meal’. But then I remembered my running coach telling us, ‘You’ve got to learn to run when you’re tired’. It sounds brutal, but it’s true – keep going and eventually you’ll get your second wind.
5) Prepare to amaze yourself! If, like me, you were allergic to sports in school, there’s nothing like the feeling of running (or limping) across the finishing line, having run 13.1 miles. Or maybe there is – the feeling of writing 'The End', or pressing send on a submission to an agent! Running and writing both have a way of uncovering your potential and taking you places you’d never have thought possible. Which is somewhere we all deserve to go.
About Nicola Doherty
Nicola grew up in Monkstown, Co. Dublin and went to university in Dublin and Oxford. She worked in publishing as an editor for several years before writing her first book The Out of Office Girl, which was shortlisted for the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year Awards in the Romantic Comedy category.
If I Could Turn Back Time and Girls on Tour are both out now from Headline, and her first young adult romance, Love and Other Man-Made Disasters, is due out in 2016 from Orion. Her books have been translated into Italian, French, German, Polish and (soon) Turkish.
She lives in Highbury, north London, with her husband and no cats (yet).