It’s going to be another hot and humid day here in Toronto, and with it comes the risk of thunderstorms this afternoon. If the skies do open up, we’ll scramble for cover to stay dry (and to avoid being struck by lightning). I love summer. I’m just not one for the heat. It’s the humidity that I have a difficult time dealing with, actually. It drains my energy, leaves me feeling lethargic, somewhat foggy, and unmotivated. I don’t feel like doing anything. That’s when I realize I have to just hold on.
For me, life as a writer has a lot to do with “just holding on.” On the days when I write — whether I’m starting a new novel or short story, or rewriting or editing a manuscript — and the work feels uphill, I encourage myself to just hold on. I remind myself that I’ve made it through difficult periods before. I practice patience (or I try). Giving myself over to the work, I edge forward one word at a time. I try not to worry about how “bad” the writing may seem because I can always come back to it later, polish it, make it sing.
The challenge? I can’t let myself get caught up in frustration. If I’m feeling too bogged down because the writing isn’t moving forward as fast as I’d like, I take a break. I go for a run, make a trip to my favourite coffee shop, or whip up something sweet and delicious in the kitchen. If I do that, then I usually come back refreshed and can see the writing from a new perspective.
Just hold on is, perhaps, another way of saying, “Take the long view.” A career in the arts doesn’t, for a lot of artists, happen overnight. We show up at the page, the easel, the piano, day after day honing our skills and building our repertoire. We fly through seasons of abundance where all our projects take flight. We stagger through the seasons of drought when projects stall, and our confidence may take a knock. But, always, we show up daily to practice our art because we believe in our dreams. We continue to just hold on.
Let us go forth together and do what it is that we love to do. Let us hold fast to dreams, to who we dare to be. And when, as the saying goes, the going gets tough, remember to just hold on.
How is your creative/life journey moving along? When you feel stalled, how do you get yourself moving again? Let me know in the comments section below.
This blog post is inspired in part by the Word Press Daily Prompt for August 2, 2017: Foggy