This is when you quit.


All too often people put up a veil. I include myself in that category. You can pretend certain things are going as planned, even if the plan has gone to hell. You reach a threshold where honesty pays off and the veil should be removed. Today, I do that.

I’m not where I want to be as a writer. I’m not alone. I’ve accepted that fact, but realized something. I have 5 projects that are almost ready to go out into the world. “Almost” being the key word. The reason they aren’t out there is no one’s fault but mine. It’s because there is a crippling moment just before completion in which I completely freeze. I distract myself with a new project, or determine the project can’t move forward. I’ve done anything to stop my work, and it wasn’t a conscious decision. I realized it recently that I have three novels and two screenplays that I’ve barely sent out for others to read.

This realization made me understand something about myself. There was a point where I would stop. Right before things got public facing. It goes back to childhood, fearful of trying out for sports. It’s normal to be afraid to fail. But now it’s time to go.

At the gym yesterday, I listened to music I normally play when I write. They were movie scores with orchestral movements, not my usual 80’s rock. It was because my writing music carried me. Then, as I was lifting, I reached a threshold I normally reach, then stop. It was the moment when I quit, right before reaching the final goal.

So I told myself it didn’t matter if I had to take 30 breaks, I was reaching the lifting goal I’d set for the day. I only took one. The reason is I chanted a mantra of sorts as I reached the point I’d normally stop and say “next time.”

“This is when you quit. Today you don’t. Today you go further.”

It was simple. It was what I needed to hear. And now, I’m assessing the works that are waiting. The time has come to get them out there. I’m likely to fail at some point, but I’d rather face a volley of failed attempts than a another moment of reflective regret.

On the ride to work that same day, “Here I Go Again” played on the radio. It was the perfect track to cap off the change motion in my life story. After a chorus or two, Whitesnake shouts “Here I Go!” and the music goes into a guitar solo. I wondered why, besides pure 80’s awesomeness. The answer is he had gone, it was time. So please excuse me while my life goes into a guitar solo.

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One comment

  1. Yep. I’m the same way. I work and write and work and then stop right before I hit send. Oh, the fear, the angst, the trepidation. It’s like in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. That one step. The leap of faith! There will be a bridge. We can’t see it, but there is a bridge.

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