I had a pretty difficult month; certainly tougher than is typical for me, in the very least.
I know that a lot of writers say this – in fact, it unfortunately seems like one of the most popular posts among writers is the “I had a hard time” complaint. So I say this knowing that I run this risk; that some will read it and liken me to other “writers” out there who so often find it hard to write.
At the same time, if I am going to actually talk about my month, I am going to talk about it honestly. And to be honest is to say:
It was tough.
Several pretty “heavy” things happened… things that I am still not quite ready to write about; things that you will have to take my word on when I say that they were the really tough sort of things that life throws at us sometimes – the stuff of loss and heartache. March was a month of sadness and disorientation, for me.
But the reality is: we all have tough times in our lives. All of us.
Everyone endures turmoil, on some level, at some point. Everyone suffers from a bad week or a bad month or even a bad few, and everyone has stuff happen to them that, quite frankly, flat out sucks.
We all face things. We all suffer “the shit” that life sometimes brings. We all feel depressed sometimes. We all feel anxious sometimes. We all lose loved ones, and sometimes we lose two within one week. Sometimes we get to say goodbye – sometimes we see these things coming. But sometimes? We don’t. Sometimes we feel lost. Sometimes we feel lonely. Sometimes we feel pained; we feel angry or disconnected or in despair. Sometimes, we all feel heavy and lackluster; feel limp as we move through our days.
And all of us could use any number of these things as reason enough to not move forward.
The successful among us did not get there by way of smooth, freshly-paved paths; by way of an obstacle-free terrain. I cannot tell you how strongly I feel about this. I wrote last month about the importance of determination and discipline in reaching our goals. After this month, I feel even more resolute now.
Success in life does not depend on what happens to you – and that none of it should be bad – but rather on what you make of it and how you choose to respond. You choose your own reaction to everything, and success comes to those who keep their chin up when things are looking down. It comes to those who choose move forward despite feeling held back.
The difference between those who succeed and those who do not is not that one group has no obstacles.
The difference is that one group just chooses to overcome them.
The successful among us did not get there because they could not think of excuses. We are ALL capable of doing it – and many of us are quite skilled at it. (Successful people are just as good as you are at making up reasons not to do something – or reasons why they “can’t.” They just chose not to.)
It is not like people succeed because they are unable to find excuses.
They get there because they chose not to.
If you want something badly enough, you have to push through tough times. You drag yourself out of bed and you sit down to the task, every single day, even if you do it later in the morning or if it takes you three time as long. You do it. And you do it because you know that, six months from now, you will want to see that it was done.
This month sucked for me. At times, I felt like an entirely different person. I woke up some mornings with very little will to write at all, but still I wrote. I wrote over 100,000 words total.
You can do this, too, with your own goals. I know that you can.
(If you can’t do this, maybe you don’t want it that bad. And if you don’t want it that bad, then maybe you are pursuing the wrong goal.)
Stop making excuses.
Take smaller steps, if need be. If you can’t write all 2,750 words at one time, break it into three different writing sessions. Write about not feeling able to write; write about your writer’s block and how that makes you feel. If that doesn’t work, Google other solutions to writer’s block. Google solutions to motivation in general. Google power of positivity and perseverance.
Assume the role of your future self, six months or a year from now, and look back on you today. What would your future self think of this moment? Would he or she pardon your procrastination?
But what if, six months from now, you had pushed through and done the work anyway, even haphazardly, even poorly, even as best as you barely could?
What does your future self have to say to that? When you look back on this moment, a year from now, which will matter more to you: the reason you didn’t do something, or the fact that you did it anyway?