How do you endure setbacks in your writing life? If you’ve embraced writing for publication, you’ve probably faced discouraging obstacles in your journey.
I’ve also faced a few stumbling blocks in other areas of my life, such as my health. After every health or family crisis, I struggle to get back on track with my exercising and walking program. I discovered my desperate need for exercise after a minor foot injury last summer.
As I climbed the very first hill on an asphalt trail near my home, my heart raced. I resisted the temptation to sit down at first. And by the time I made it to the top of that hill, I felt like I’d been walking over an hour. As I plodded on, in pain, the trail leveled. But I continued to struggle with each new hill.
Since I carried my camera, I paused several times to capture an interesting shot along the way. I only intended to walk for about 30 minutes. But when I checked the time, I discovered an hour had passed.
I learned some things about myself on the walking trail that apply to the other areas of my life, including my writing life.
- Recognize limitations and needs. I must allow myself the freedom to take breaks when I need them. I can cause more damage if I don’t stay off my feet with a foot injury. And in the waiting rooms of life, rest often provides what I really need the most.
- Keep going. Don’t quit when the journey gets tough. I need to remind myself of that truth, when the walking trail or the pace of my writing efforts becomes difficult.
- Set goals. It helps to have daily goals, even if I miss the mark or go beyond my goal at the end of the day or the project. When I planned to walk 30 minutes, I discovered that I could endure for an hour walk. If I forget to set some measurable goals in my writing life, I fail to recognize my progress.
- Enjoy the journey. When I walk, taking my camera along to capture a few of the scenes helps me enjoy the sights along the way and forget about the effort it takes to go the distance. In my writing life, connecting with other writers brings new friendships, insights, opportunities, and encouragement. Plus, choosing my topics and commitments carefully engages my creativity and serves as a motivating force when the writing process becomes overwhelming or difficult.
- Reward yourself along the way. The benefits from my walks and my writing life enhance other parts of my life. Of course, as my health improves, other areas of my life benefit, too. Also, my new photography interest contributes to our family albums, and my nature shots add some great content for my blog posts. My writing successes also increase my self-confidence and encourage me to keep going when the journey makes me weary.
What helps you endure your writing life when the journey gets difficult?
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