I’m not here for your benefit.
The more progress made, the further down the road travelled, comes a realisation that matters to nobody but me. Every time a personal record is bettered, or a target attained, this is not cause for celebration. A lot of the time, it isn’t fun either. Hard work is not, on certain days, its own reward, whatever the fuck the motivational posters might tell you otherwise. Those people who look comfortable and secure in their public personas… I have no idea how that happens. Faking it til you make it is a waste of good time and effort.
I’m here to admit some days this is horrible.
‘If you don’t like cycling, then stop’ my husband says, each time I do a ride where it is a struggle physically. His advice is based on a sound concept: he enjoys what he does hugely, but has never struggled with shortness of breath or a lack of physical strength. He is not stressed by large groups of people or the perception others have of him. He is lucky enough to have that easy comfort in abundance, and it would be fair to state that is one of his most attractive qualities. I don’t, and all the things he takes in his stride can often just stop me in my tracks. Yet, I’ll be back on a bike, and I’ll keep working on all those things that vex me, because I don’t like them.
Life is not just about being happy.
The most satisfaction gained, ultimately in my own head, is doing the stuff that’s difficult. That never used to be the case, of course, but as I’ve grasped the importance of using time well, that desire has risen and will not be quelled. Sure, it would be fabulous to just sit back and do nothing, but that achieves nothing. The real, tangible progress made on writing is in direct response to my determination not only to get fit but to stay there and do more. Without the physical exercise, none of this would ever have happened.
Sometimes to get what you want, you need to be unhappy.
There are two parts to this post for a reason, because the flip side of getting upset and angry when things go wrong is not, as my family sometimes believe, an attention seeking ranty pants moment. The oddest things count as motivation for writers, and I am only beginning to grasp the reality of why stories matter so much to me. It is creating worlds where I feel comfortable to live, that make sense in my head as not simply ideals, but what ought to be the norm going forward.
Writing is no longer therapy, but a way to gain long-term satisfaction.