If you felt like people were running circles around you at the conference, don’t worry…
Over the summer, I had a couple injuries that prevented me from working out. So when I finally–finally–healed, I was starting almost from square one. Insanity, one of the workout programs I have, has 30 days of short, intense workouts, followed by a break week, then 30 days of long, intense workouts. I’ve been mixing in runs and other activities, so it took me longer than 30 days.
When I switched from the short workouts to the long workouts, I was crushed by the exertion. The last time I did these workouts, I was a lot, lot better at them. Now, I was just hanging on to survive.
Oh, geez, another workout equals writing post…
Yeah, pretty much, but with a point.
Life has a way of leading people away from their passions. After all, there’s the kids or the parents to deal with. Work. School. Health issues. That sudden plumbing emergency. Even vacations can get you out of the habit.
Then you start in again, and what used to be easy is now very difficult. And then you go to the conference and maybe write to a prompt, or do an exercise in a session and everyone’s running rings around you.
It’s depressing. To go back to the workout example, it lead me to a bout of self-doubt as on I take an unscheduled break on my hands and knees, slick with sweat, panting like a dog on a hot afternoon. I am in such horrible shape.
First of all, you probably aren’t in as bad a shape as you think. Because what seems now like it came with ease probably didn’t come as easily as you remember it coming.
Second, you aren’t in as good a shape as you used to be. You can’t be, if you were out of it for a while. It’s a fact you have to accept. And on accepting it, you can relax and do the best job you can for now. After all, anything you write at the conference, or after a long layoff, is probably a first draft anyway. And you know what Hemingway said about first drafts and your toilet…
So if you struggled at the conference, that’s okay. It happens. The only way to not struggle is to write. And if you all write every day, without missing any days, I promise not to use a working out equals writing metaphor again.