Sometimes shit happens and it really sucks.
Sometimes shit happens and it sucks so much you just give up.
But other times, shit happens, it really sucks, but you grit your teeth and keep on pushing.
As some of you know, I recently received an incredibly discouraging blow (I lost a giant chunk of my first draft, and it is utterly and completely irretrievable). Trust me when I say it sucks.
OH NOOOOOOOOO!!! MY LIFE IS OVER. I’M GOING TO BINGE EAT THIS CHEESE, CRY MYSELF TO SLEEP, AND NEVER LOOK AT THAT STUPID MANUSCRIPT AGAIN.
I HATE MY LIFE.
Wait, huh? Oh snap…yesterday sucked. I’m going to gorge on those gummy bears, watch mindless TV, and feel really sorry for myself.
I still hate my life. ::gives sideways glance to remainder of manuscript::
Okay. Life = crap, but you know what? Maybe it’s not the end of the world. Let’s take stock of the damage and figure out what needs to be done to fix it.
Yeah, that’s a lot of pages lost, but…I did it once. I can write it all again. I’M NOT GONNA GIVE UP.
I’m taking a break from the manuscript. I’ll work on all the other crud that needs doing in my life and in my work, and I will deal with that later.
My heart has mended enough that I can approach this fresh. LET’S DO THIS.
Dealing with discouragement takes time–you need a few days or a few weeks for your heart to heal. But there is a simple solution, and you know what that is?
Hint: it’s a decision.
It’s the decision to NOT GIVE UP. You are deciding that ultimately, your writing or your painting or your cooking or your marathon training matters more than the crap thrown at you.
It’s the decision TO LET IT GO AND MOVE ON. You choose to push through that stomach cramp, to take the negative critiques and learn from them, or to throw out the crappy cake and start over.
You love what you do, you have a goal, and you will do whatever it takes to reach it. I’ll be honest–I gave up on the painting and the marathon training. Discouragement won.
But give up on writing? Never.
Writing matters to me. Seeing my name in bookstores matters to me. Sharing my stories with readers really matters to me. And as such, I will not give up because of some bump (or enormous collapsing bridge) in the road.
So here’s the deal: sometimes, shit happens and it really sucks, but because you love this–because it matters to you and you have GOALS–you are going to grit your teeth, decide it is worth the pain, and keep on pushing.**
You’re not going to give up. And neither am I.
WE CAN DO THIS.
Have you ever dealt with something discouraging that almost made you quit?
Are you feeling discouraged now or have you recently?
**And you might also consider binge eating cheese–I swear, it works wonders for the aching soul.