Writing Can Be Murder

January 29, 2010

A struggle vs A challenge

Filed under: Uncategorized — love2wryte @ 7:02 pm

Tuesday morning, having not slept well the night before, I went for a run. I did a half mile warm-up walk and jogged half a mile. And then I quit because it was a struggle. Something was really off. Everything was difficult.

A couple hours I tried again. Again I quit after a mile.

There was a time when I would have been extraordinarily frustrated with myself for quitting, but I’ve learned (slowly and sometimes painfully) that pushing through when I’m struggling usually leads to injury and/or burnout. So I cut myself some slack, and reminded myself I could always try again the next day.

Wednesday I put on my sneakers and tried again. Everything I worked. I did my four miles. I even set a new personal record for my fastest mile. It was a CHALLENGE to go faster and get through the workout, but it wasn’t a struggle.

Yesterday writing was a struggle. A gnashing of teeth and rending of hair epic struggle. I was fed up with the WIP. I was never, ever, going to finish it. I was ready to just hit delete and be done with it.

(Not TOO over the top am I?)

Thankfully my dear friend C, in her gentle, wise way, reminded me that the book is not a catastrophic failure.

I took a break. I worked on my other project which always fills me with joy. It wasn’t until a few hours later that the whole struggle vs. challenge thing occurred to me. I’d been struggling with the WIP and should have just quit for the day, but instead I kept trying to push through. It didn’t work. Things just got worse and worse.

Once I allowed myself a breather, I was once again up to the challenge of working on it. I may not have set any kind of personal record with it, but I did finally make progress.

I need to figure out how to internalize the struggle vs. challenge lesson and would appreciate any tips anyone has about this issue.



  1. Great post! You’ve hit the nail on the head with things I struggle with/challenge myself with as well. Knowing when to step back and regroup is a priceless skill – one I hope I’m learning.

    Comment by Jennifer Colgan — January 30, 2010 @ 5:45 pm | Reply

  2. It’s not a skill I’ve mastered, but at least it’s a skill I know I need to learn.

    Comment by love2wryte — February 1, 2010 @ 3:33 am | Reply

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