I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that most of you reading this have either been told or have heard the following phrase:
“With enough hard work, you have the potential to become anything you want to be.”
It’s a simple statement with far-reaching context. Especially for impressionable children who haven’t yet learned the trials of humanity that we all face as we begin to grow into adults and come of age. Now there’s nothing necessarily wrong with it from an objective perspective. It’s this idea of having insurmountable obstacles overcome with perseverance and some measure of hard work applied for every situation. Which again isn’t a bad philosophy to have but without context to explain ends up being very dangerous.
It almost has people believing that no matter what, they’ll always succeed without preparing them for the consequence of failing.
In June of 2016, last year, I made the claim that I wanted to try to figure this publication thing out while still balancing my very real responsibilities; and a lot has happened since then. There have been very real frustrations at myself for falling short of my expectations, surprises at the number of people who started to actually pay attention to the words I was writing and empathized with the declaration of my dream, and even quite a few learning experiences along the way. I’ve written thousands upon thousands of words (it would be a daunting task to go back and tally my word count for every blog post at this point), used current inspiration to begin systematically working towards a full manuscript by the end of this year, had the chance to begin traveling the world, utilizing that break to come back creatively stronger, and even work up the nerve to submit written work to my first writing contest challenge.
Even in this short span of months starting this blog, I’ve burned out at least twice as family situations arose and work responsibilities became more engrossing as I attempted to balance it all. On days of being actively ‘adult’ for 12+ hours, I arrived at home to eat dinner and plop into my chair, knowing that I should write something to keep myself on schedule. I slowly began dreading it, especially on work nights where the clock transitioned past midnight and I still had less than a coherent idea. My same feelings from NaNoWriMo, a few years back, were beginning to resurface and that creeping dread of being submerged began to rear its ugly head once more.
Then Christmas came and I forced myself to step away from it all. I took a much-needed vacation and spent time with my family, enjoying the chance to just mentally reboot. It’s kind of funny to think back to me stressing over something that still does not pay the bills or keep a stable roof over my head but I recognize passion for what it is. But I knew I had to make necessary adjustments. Like the above quote, I am capable of achieving what I set my mind to but you should be realistic of your expectations.
But even more so, learn how to be okay with the pitfalls you come across and just stay the course until you no longer can. Then readjust as necessary. 100 posts in and I don’t plan on going anywhere soon.
Until next time.