Do you ever try to keep going no matter what? Life, work, writing, activities? Maybe all at once? Guess what? Sometimes you can't keep pushing that rock up the endless hill.
But I'm stubborn. Tough. Right? A physical and mental endurance specialist. You're talking to the person who will run for 6 hours on a trail and who takes call for 2-3 weeks at a time. From the outside, it looks like I'll never stop.
Until I do.
While training for a big race in the past year, I got tired. Really tired. Finally, I gave myself permission to take a break for a week. I stopped beating myself up if I didn't hit those mileage numbers. And when I resumed running, my legs were fresher.
As for the writing? Everything inside me says I must keep writing, keep editing, keep pushing for new ideas. But like Sisyphus pushing that rock uphill, the art became harder and harder until I ground to a painful, guilt-ridden halt. Editirix extroardinaire Julie Sturgeon gave me apt advice and permission -- to stop (temporarily). It went against everything I wanted to do. It went against those guilty feeling that I needed to write during any spare minute because those minutes are precious and few and far between.
But continuing in the same direction and always pushing pushing pushing wasn't working. I had to do something different. So I (wisely) took Julie's advice and stopped almost a month ago. I removed self-imposed deadlines. I resisted the urge to compare my progress to that other authors who could have written 6 books in the time it's taken me to edit one. Because it didn't matter -- I had to try something.
You know what happened? A few days ago, something clicked. I opened that manuscript document, went back about 15 pages, and typity-type, fell back in the groove. It's slow going like knocking the rust off the gears, but my little writer brain is fresher, springier, and I'm trusting the process again.
It defies logic, but sometimes you have to go backward before you can go forward.