Tapped Out

“Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace.”
Victor Hugo

Today, I took a break from my YA novel to tackle a writing project that was in another world: the script for a CD based on my start-up action guide, Birthing the Elephant. Pulling together the text I was crafting took the entire day and demanded a lot of concentration. I was working in my local library, which I have learned, is not the greatest place to concentrate. People conduct business on their cell phones, they argue with each other, they ruffle magazine pages relentlessly.

But after a while, none of this mattered. I was in the zone and I was cooking!
But at the end of the day, it was I who was baked! I was mentally and physically tired. I got to the point where I couldn’t really write another word. There was even a reading series going on in the auditorium, but I simply couldn’t sit still anymore. Afterward, I took a walk, which helped relax me.

Here’s the thing about hard work: it’s enervating, but it’s also energizing and enlivening. I felt wiped out and wrung out, but I also felt used up in a very positive and productive way. As our friend Victor says, I had “laboriously accomplished” the task I’d sent for myself today and it felt really great. I even pushed past the goal I’d sent for myself and did a bit of thinking about the next segment of the project, so I’m ahead of the game.

All this reminds me that stepping on the gas is really important. When you work on your own, it’s so easy to coast — to work at a level that’s not overly demanding. I’m often guilty of this. And yet, it’s so soul satisfying to burn yourself out in the service of something you feel is worth doing. Write on!

About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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4 Responses to Tapped Out

  1. Nicole Gray says:

    Good for you, Karin! I love the idea of ‘wringing yourself out’ in the interest of taking the next big stride, even if it feels as if you’re burning up the soles of your shoes—or walking barefoot. The best part of a hard day’s work (or several in a row) is getting beyond the exhaustion and realizing that something big is DONE.

  2. Joe Owens says:

    Karin – I can identify with this sentiment. I saw the announcement abot the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and with only a two week window and a still unfinished manuscript I am beating my keyboard to death to try to meet the challenge. It is all part of my goal to actually enter thr fray of publishing for real this year. Always in the past I had been content with :one day”> Not that day has come.

    • Hi Joe,

      That is fantastic about the Amazon Breakthrough Contest — go for it! As they say with the lottery, you have to be in it to win it. We all need to get out there and find ways to share what we have to say. Just keep submitting. “Don’t quit, can’t fail” — that’s what a friend of mine says.

      The best of luck — you are a true inspiration!

      Write on, Karin

      > Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2013 11:36:00 +0000 > To: kmja_w@hotmail.com >

      • Joe Owens says:

        I wish I could remember which blogger it was late last year that wrote “if you’re not seeing rejection letters you aren’t trying.” That was the moment i relaized I was staying safely in the “one day” community.

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