I just finished a Tough Mudder. What’s a Tough Mudder you ask? Well, it’s this.
I know, I know…pretty awesome.
It was very tough (duh) but I made it through. My legs are cut up from crawling on the ground, my calves are still sore, and I realized that I didn’t have as much upper body strength as I imagined I did in my mind.
But I made it through. That’s what’s important.
Writing is very similar. You finish whatever piece you’re working on and look back, what do you see? This sentence sucked and that was a poor word choice, these characters aren’t defined well enough, and this description is just terrible. But guess what…you made it through. You made it to the end, and only making it to the end do you have the ability to look back and see how much work you need to do.
While we were stretching at the starting line, a man who had done the course over fifty (fifty!) times was giving us a motivational speech. He asked,
“When was the last time that you did something for the first time?”
Well? When was the last time that you did something for the first time?
The last time I did something for the first time was that Tough Mudder; before that, it was returning to school; before that, it was publishing a novel.
I don’t know when the next time that I’ll do something for the first time will be, but I’m keeping my eyes open.
I’m giving myself permission to hurt, and to falter, and to fail.
My knees are cut up and my calves are soar but both will heal, and when they do, the memory of me finishing the race will remain for my entire life.
You’re novel doesn’t need to look pretty when you finish the first draft, just finish the first draft.
You’re body doesn’t need to look pretty when you finish the race, just finish the race.