Overcoming Obstacles

I used to be the type of person that would see an obstacle, or any hardship, really, as an excuse to take the easy way out. If it's hard, why bother?

It's taken many, many years to change my negative way of thinking. It's something I still struggle with. Earlier this year, I fought my way through some tough edits on my current manuscript. I was getting feedback from a couple of new people, and not all the feedback was good. I don't mean the feedback was telling me my manuscript was bad. Of course there was some of that. My writing is far from perfect. No, the person giving me the feedback was well-intentioned, but in hindsight, probably not the best person to read my work. It made me doubt myself a a hundred ways to Sunday, so I stared down that obstacle and decided to turn away. For the time being.

 I decided to work on a book which was the polar opposite of the manuscript I'd been working on for the last year and a half. I didn't think about that old manuscript at all while I was working. Each day I hoped that I would love my old ms again, because if I wasn't, I would simply move on. It would be tough to abandon a book I'd worked on for so long, but I was at the point where I didn't love it anymore, so how could I possibly move forward with it? You really have to love a book to put it out there for all the world to see.

I finished the new ms in three weeks (almost a record for me) and took a few more weeks to edit it. With  my deadline creeping up, an idea to fix my old ms came to me in the shower and I went back to work a week before my allotted deadline. I've been in love with it ever since.

I used to force myself right up against obstacles. It didn't matter if that obstacle was a boulder, I would try to nudge it out of the way. I would only end up exhausting myself in the process. I'm getting better at spotting obstacles and giving myself the distance to see the best way around them. Sometimes you do need to step back and try something new.