I’ve been writing my book for what feels like forever. I’m nearing the ending stages, and I am now deep in the throes of editing, revising, and addressing my editor’s comments. I’m discovering that this is the most difficult part of the writing process. It’s not the research, it’s not forming the argument, it’s not writing the 250-300 page book. Rather, it’s taking the comments, criticisms, and suggestions from my readers, incorporating them into my work, and turning it into a finished product of which I am proud.
Somedays I will spend the entire day writing 4 sentences or finalizing one tiny paragraph. I feel that I am constantly tweaking sentences and rewording phrases. I swear somedays I actually undo the progress I made the day before; it’s on these days in particular that I feel like throwing in the towel.
As you might guess from my Debbie Downer tone today, I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed, discouraged, and frustrated with the whole writing process.
Have you ever experienced this? Do you ever simply want to say, “I’ve had enough. I’m done.”?
This past Saturday I came across the quote, “I didn’t come this far only to come this far” as I was metaphorically banging my head against my desk. Although it is a simple statement, it really spoke to me.
I have spent years working on this book. I couldn’t begin to guess the amount of hours I have sat in libraries, pouring over microfilms, studying scores, researching materials, and writing, writing, writing. I have worked hard, and although the process is slow – and at times incredibly arduous – in the end I will have something to show for it.
I didn’t come this far only to come this far.
Will the finished product be perfect? No, it probably won’t. As writer Elizabeth Gilbert says, the only thing that is perfect in the writing process is a blank page. Nevertheless, my imperfect labor of love will be something in which I take pride. If anything, it will be a tangible product that represents all of the figurative blood and literal sweat and tears that went into making it.
I didn’t come this far only to come this far. I will finish.
Are you facing any big hurdles in your work or home life right now? Do you ever feel like throwing in the towel? How do you keep going? What is your motivation to persist? Let me know below!