On Sunday, I returned from a six-day trip to Santiago, Chile. I had a great time, and now I’m working to settle back into my routine. Feeling a little fatigued, a lot of things feel “harder” than usual. Like writing. Tired, I’m judging my writing more harshly than I would normally. Tired, I’m frustrated with my level of productivity. Again, I’m being unusually hard on myself. It’s all because I’m restless, and that can throw me off my game. I don’t want that. I don’t want restlessness to tackle me the way the ball carrier in a game of rugby is brought to the ground. If that happens, I risk being caught somewhere between the mountain and the valley, stuck. Immobile. I want to keep moving. I want to get my groove on.
After letting my novel rest for a bit, I’m back to work on it. It’s a long and daunting process, but I know the effort I’m putting in will be worth it in the end. Some chapters are holding up really well while others require small tweaks here and there. But it’s all coming together, slowly but surely. And I feel like I am inching my way back up the mountain. I’m making progress.
I’m working to finish something because I know how good that feels. Amazing! Maybe you can relate… As a writer, I often find myself trying to juggle multiple writing projects. It’s that back and forth between projects that can break my focus, particularly when I’m in the middle of rewriting a novel. I try to tell myself, “Worry about the short story or essay later. Finish what you’ve started.” But there’s something novel about starting a new piece, or going back to another that’s spent the last three months in a drawer collecting dust.
Finishing something — seeing a novel or a short story come full circle — gives perspective. A completed project offers reassurance, when doubt lingers large and heavy, that I am in fact on the right path. I’m reminded that I have heeded the call of what it is I feel compelled to do in life. Yes, finishing something reinforces — in the face of rejection — the artist in me. It doesn’t matter what my day job is, the finished novel says to me, “I am a writer.”
Finishing something also says to me, whether I’m restless or surviving a long period of drought, that I’ve shown up at the page and dared to be faithful to who I am. I’ve succeeded in navigating through whatever hurdles that stood before me. It proves that I am resilient.
What are you working on at the moment? What have you finished lately? What do you do to remain resilient on your artistic journey? Let me know in the comments section below.
Thanks for reading and being a part of my writing journey!