It’s Hard

WritingNow that I’ve dedicated myself to writing again and am trying to pursue it with intensity, I am reminded of one important fact.

It’s hard.

Not the writing itself (although sometimes it can feel like you’re chiseling granite with a dental pic). No, what’s hard is sitting down to write, and then actually writing.

That sounds stupid, I know. After all, if you love to do something, why should it be hard to make yourself do it? If you know the act itself is going to give you pleasure and fulfillment, why is it a problem?

It makes no sense, but I think it happens with everything that’s worthwhile. As soon as we commit to a particular path, things rise up and get in the way. Internal things. External things. Fear. Arrogance. Pride. Family responsibilities. Car trouble. Drama at work. Drama at home. Anything and everything that can distract us from our goal comes into play.

Sometimes the distractions aren’t even overt, and that makes them more insidious. As I’ve said in other posts, I have a hard time concentrating if I don’t turn off my wireless router before I start working. If I leave it on, I find myself surfing the Internet, following link after link, or browsing my various social media sites until I get a headache. People aren’t really saying anything vital, yet I sit, chin in hand, mouth open, eyes vacant, scrolling along. When I finally tear myself away, I’ve lost all of my writing time – I’ve given it to the Internet. Even turning the router off doesn’t always help. One day last week I threw away my writing time because I was re-organizing my iTunes playlists. Why did I do that? Why did I think that task was so urgent it needed to be done right that second? I have no idea.

I think the challenges we face when pursuing a worthwhile goals are tests of our commitment. Can we push through? Can we develop good habits and good practices? Can we focus? Will we chase that thing we love even when it flits away and is caught up in the fog of everyday life? Maybe we are always offered the chance to face these challenges but we don’t notice until we’re trying to look beyond them.

If you can muscle through, I think the reward is great. Even now, when I persevere and beat back the weeds trying to crowd me, I can see glimpses of what might be possible. And I already know that letting the weeds win, letting them swamp me and choke me, will let them steal the most valuable part of me. I know it because it’s what I’ve lived during the past year. I know it because now I’m trying to beat the weeds back, one writing session at a time.

Man, I hope I remember all of this six months from now. Those weeds aren’t going away – they’re like darned wild strawberries. They’re just setting down stronger roots, preparing to attack again, ready to take over my whole garden.

Because it’s hard.

 

Lives go down the tubes one repetition at a time, one deflection at a time, 140 characters at a time.

—Steven Pressfield, Turning Pro

 

 

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Comments

  1. we will remind you to get the weed wacker out and start writing…..

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