If you follow my blog or social media accounts (or know me in my non-electronic form) you see/hear me say “never give up” all the time. It’s my thing. Never give up on your dreams. I’m a firm believer that persistence can get you any place you want to go. BUT, I’m slowly realizing, sometimes it’s okay to take a breath.
I set lofty goals on how much writing I’m going to get done on a particular day and dig in. I’ll sit in front of my keyboard until my brain turns to pudding. But I keep on going, spinning over the same thing without much forward motion, because, damn it, I’ve set a goal and I’m going to meet or beat it. So, I keep rewriting that paragraph, not liking it anymore on the tenth version than I did the first. Or I’ll rearranging a sentence over and over wondering if I repeated a word or just think I did because I’ve read the same sentence twenty-five times in a row now? I tell myself don’t give up, you have five more pages left to write/revise today and I push through.
I usually make or exceed my already sporty goals, but fall into bed like a zombie way past any decent bedtime not always happy with the way I ended and with nothing accomplished around my house. I’ve found that when I come back to my writing the next day I go back and whip right through whatever I’d been spinning on. So, my stubborn side is slowly accepting that taking a breath has some merit, too. I’m trying to be more aware and when I realize I’m in the throes of a spin, I make a note to reword this or rearrange that—if I’m not sure what’s bothering me, I’ll just make a generic note to review or reassess—and walk away. I’ve usually accomplished quite a bit by the time I hit a wall (i.e. get tired) and have the problem fixed first things the next day. When I give my brain a rest, my dogs get an extra round of frisbee, or I get a load of laundry or dishes done before I run out of clean things, or I get to read a few more pages of a book before I fall asleep (YAY). I still say never give up on your dreams, but I think you can also be kind to yourself in the process.
Only a few weeks in to this new way of approaching my writing, I’m finding it easier said than done. But I’m trying. I continue to tell myself, that it’s all right, I’ll get there. Just breathe.
Happy Writing (and Breathing)!
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