Writing No Pain, No Gain?

plan A 25 letterExercise can bring out the best and the worst in a person.  It can also help or hurt the other commitments in your life.  

This month I’ve made a commitment to get more active.  Normally, this is something where I would put my mouth in gear, not my feet.  I also spent some time looking at the rest of my life and I got the wake up call I needed to push myself forward.  I also found I have less tolerance to who I was and what I did even from a few months ago.  I am not perfect, but I want to be better.  It means a lot of pain in the process, and I have to undo a lot of what I thought was good.  It wasn’t and I wasn’t. No pain was my plan A, and I learned the hard way no pain only means I’ve fallen.  Plan B-Z just means I get back up, so I’m making an effort to do just that.

However, this effort it will be different.  I have one extra thing which will make it different.  I have a partner in crime who is planning to revamp everything I do in my work and in my life- a mentor if you will.  I’ve had some health issues recently, and it’s made me realize I want to change.  I have coasted far too long and far too often.  He will probably push me beyond my limits and I expect him to tell me when I’m procrastinating, or not pushing myself to succeed.  I am probably the queen of excuses, and many of the people I work with have never called me on it.  Possibly because they don’t want to say or be mean.  The problem of not saying anything is more acute when there is a fear of critiques, and that can become a good excuse to avoid growth.  My mentor will push me farther in all aspects of my life, and this includes writing.  I trust that this wonderful man will push me hard and say something about my losing focus.

The problem with not saying anything is that there is no pain in staying the same.  It’s like writing.  You can write what you think is a believable first draft, but when it comes down to it, that draft was one of the worst things you’ve ever done.  The same goes for exercise, the less you do the more you think you’ve done a lot.

no pain no gainLooking back, this is also something that affects my writing.  I’ve seen some positive things happen with this website, but I’ve also seen some fairly poor things going back to the beginning of this website.  I would have to say I can understand why people wondered where Jordan went for his writing break, but most never worried about my own lack of posting.  I’ve also seen wonderful writers like Judy Croome post here and seen their success.  I’ve been coasting along without worrying about the pain.   It’s possible to write a 500 word blog post each day, and it’s also equally as possible to make up a 500 word excuse for not writing a 500 word blog post each day.  What hurts worse in the long run is the excuse and not the writing.  It’s a problem long term when people won’t expect or want you to write, because they are in pain because I found another excuse.  There was no pain for me, but a lot of pain with the people who counted on me.

People are right when they say “no pain, no gain” because of my very painful health issues, I’ve had to push myself to write, and then push myself to move.  Each time I wonder if I’m going about this the right way or if I am coasting along.  Pain is a valuable tool for writers.  If   I don’t like editing, and I find reasons to not edit, I’m not growing as a writer.  I am not being a writer.  It’s just me excusing myself from responsibility.  Pain is a motivator, but it also is a thing people want to avoid.

brave quote

A successful writer will feel the pain of editing, and will feel the pain of rejection, but that doesn’t mean they give up, it’s a challenge, and if you have a network who is willing to push you harder there is a “net” there when the pain does become too much. By being brave and going and re-doing it again is only the beginning.  You don’t have to tell everyone who made a mistake, but you have to tell someone who will push you to improve that you have.  Bravery is part of the gain after you’ve felt the pain.

By this same token, I found that my pain tolerance has gone up.  As Jordan said in his last post, there is a time and a place, and if you keep pushing past the pain there will be success for you.  That is why I’ve decided to push myself and join the Spartan Race next year.  Inspiration can come from hundreds of unexpected places, and this is one aspect that can change my view of “no pain, no gain”