Pushing Boulders

When we last left Betsy, she was ready to start again after a particularly difficult year. But it doesn’t bode well that the blog was silent last week, does it?

As we join her and Harry, the white rabbit who is her Guide on her Quest to become a successful independent author, we find them standing at the foot of a tall mountain gazing up at an extremely heavy boulder. What is going on?

Let’s see…


*Betsy pants and leans against the boulder* I…can’t…get it…moving.

*Harry settles back on his haunches* Try again.

Betsy puts both hands on the boulder and pushes. It rolls one inch, stops, rolls back. Betsy collapses again.
See? It won’t move!

That’s because you stopped.

It’s too hard!

No it’s not, but you won’t get anywhere if you keep stopping.

Betsy puts her hands on the boulder again. Pushes again. The boulder moves again. This time it moves two inches, then stops, and rolls back an inch.

Perfect! *Harry beams at Betsy* You moved it an inch!

An inch! *Betsy frowns in disgust* That’s nothing!

It’s not nothing. It’s an inch.

If I only move the boulder an inch at a time, it’s going to take forever to get up the mountain! *Betsy waves her hands wildly*

Well, yes. *Harry scratches at his long, silky ear* But if you keep moving it an inch at a time, pretty soon you’ll be moving it two inches! Then three!

It’s not fair. *Betsy crosses her arms and drops to the ground* *Frowns* I was moving the boulder a lot faster earlier.

Were you really?

Yes. *Betsy frowns at Harry* And I don’t see you helping.

But of course I’m helping. *Harry sits next to her*


By not letting you completely stop, of course.

It’s just. *Betsy plucks at the grass* I sort of thought the Muse would be here to help me by now.

She’ll be here.

I sort of thought she’d take over. I like it when she takes over. Then things really fly.

*Harry pats Betsy’s hand* You’re just rusty, that’s all. It’s hard to hear her when you’re out of practice.

*Betsy frowns* If I can’t hear the Muse, I don’t know how I’m supposed to keep going.

You have to keep going anyway, then you hear her.

That seems backwards to me. Seems like I should get some direction before I set out rather than after. What kind of a system is that!

*Harry shrugs*

I have poison ivy all over my arms, you know. *Betsy itches* How am I supposed to concentrate?

*Harry shrugs*

And my ankle hurts when I sit at the desk.

*Harry shrugs*

And that boulder is pretty heavy.

*Harry shrugs*

And that hill is awfully high

*Harry shrugs*

Maybe I should just give up and start tomorrow. After all, tomorrow’s another day and I’ll get a fresh start. If I get a good night’s sleep then all be all rested in the morning.

You could. *Harry smiles equably*

*Betsy looks at him suspiciously* Buuuutttt….?

*Harry shrugs* But you did make an inch progress. Maybe if you keep going instead of stopping altogether, you can make two.

So what?

So then you’ll be two inches further along.

*Betsy thinks* And if I stop?

*Harry shrugs* Then maybe you’ll be at the beginning again.

*Betsy thinks*  And a little progress is better than no progress?

*Harry beams at her* Exactly.

And eventually the Muse will come?

*Harry nods* Eventually.

*Betsy thinks* *Sighs* *Gets to her feet*

Okay. We’ll try for another inch.

*Harry pats her hand* Some days we take whatever we can get. The important thing is we try to take it.


To be continued…





  1. So true, so true. Sometimes it’s just so hard to keep trying to do something when it seems like every effort just puts you back where you started, or leaves you feeling worse. It’s hard to remember that an inch is way better than nothing at all.

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