Swings and Roundabouts: Some Words about Persistence

The last week has been rather…interesting. I think I mentioned it previously, but my boss came to me one day last week, I believe it was Tuesday, with a very high-visibility, high-profile project with an incredibly short deadline. I burned my way through it and delivered what seems to be a high-quality document, but in the process I seem to have burned myself out a little on structured writing. That’s why you things have languished just a bit, and I considered dropping the blog for awhile. In the end, I’ve decided that I have to do what I’ve done during other fallow periods: push through. I’ve been knocked down, but I won’t let myself lie there, even if I feel drained and have had some stomach issues that may have been a bug, may have been stress-related.

What I really want to talk about here is persistence. Persistence is what gets you through writing another chapter when the only thing you want to do is hide in bed. Persistence is what makes you keep on writing blog entries, to keep on moving in the face of the world’s impressive amount of apathy. Persistence keeps you from falling into the trap of waiting for inspiration. I know it has for me. I’m not sure if it’s a bull-headed consistency or something else that drives me onward. I think it’s something that most writers need, though. 

We all have days/weeks/months were each word is pure agony to draw from within. Hell, I’m experiencing it right now. But sometimes we have to accept that not everything is going to be great and know that merely good enough is the best we can do, at least starting out. And hey, sometimes all you need is the habit. Sometimes pushing through the mess in your mind is enough to push away the fog and get started on something else.

I think it’s also important to take care of yourself. That can’t be overestimated. A good night’s sleep is my best ally when it comes to sharp, aware writing. That’s why I have such difficulty writing when I’m sick – sleep does not come easily, and as a result I just feel like staring at the wall for a few hours. Yesterday was such a day, yet I managed to push my way through another chapter in the novel and get something of a blog entry posted, even if it was a mess. I don’t feel like today’s entry is that much better, but I’m going to push through this and come out on the other side, just as I have before.

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  1. Love the picture of the little girl. I feel like that these days.

    You’re doing way better than I am, with this persistence thing, when it comes to blogging. I’ll have to learn from your example.

    • Haha yeah, the little girl is about how I feel right now. Or, well, did. I’m finally getting some stamina back.

      Thanks. Some days this is definitely a job, rather than fun. Thankfully, that’s not every day or even the majority of days.

  2. I know the feeling exactly. Good for you, for persevering. It’s good to know I’m not the only one who sometimes feels this way.

    • Thank you! Yes you’re definitely not alone.

      Just checked out the book – looks intriguing. I’ll have to pick it up once it’s out.

  3. I can’t believe how often you write a blog post! give yourself a break! are you editing your novel now or working on another? This time of year is when we all need to slow down a bit, go inward and dormant like the plants so that in the spring we can burst forth once more..don’t overdo.

    • I know, right? It’s become compulsive, I think. I’m going to be dialing it back a notch. I’m working on a second novel right now, and it seems to be coming in fits and starts. Good point about this time of year. I think my fear is that when I’ve done that in the past, I’ve let the laziness stretch out, so I don’t want to give in. I’m going to try to find a middle ground between going dormant and just slowing down. That’s never been my strong suit, but I’m trying 🙂

  4. Thanks for pushing me to continue. It’s something I struggle with. I did an audio blog entry–I won’t give a link because I don’t want to shamelessly self-promote–and I struggled with it from Saturday night through this morning. Sometimes I don’t feel like blogging at all, I feel no one will read it, and that’s when perserverance is important. Thanks for the encouraging words.

    • Glad I could help! Just checked out your site and I like what you’ve written. Will definitely be watching it in the future, so there’s at least one person reading. 🙂

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