Monday, October 11, 2010

Finish Line Syndrome

photo courtesy of photobucket

You cannot dream yourself into a character: you must hammer and forge yourself into one.

---Henry D. Thoreau

It’s been a long time since I’ve been to the blog and I really miss it. As most of you know, I’m writing a book, so this summer was all about sitting in a chair and writing for a two hours a day, five to six days a week. As I watched the book grow to well over three hundred pages, I was motivated by the fact that I was doing it – the very thing I said I wanted to do my whole life - I was writing a book! And so, there I was or here I am – writing, writing, writing. At some point, my life began to shrink as I spent the majority of my time immersed in the book, whether it was the actual writing or thinking about what I wanted to write.

“It’s like constantly walking around and packing for a trip in my head,” I told my mother.  "Ya know, like 'hmmmm. maybe I should take that shirt or those shoes, oh yes - definitely those shoes!' "

“Ohhhh…..” she sighed. “That’s hard.”

Yep. It is hard and exhilarating and terrifying and sometimes fulfilling. I took month off at the end of August to let the story marinate before coming back tto write the ending. Now that I’m just one chapter away from finishing the first draft in its entirety, I find myself with finish line syndrome.

I once ran a tiny marathon in Central Park – something like three miles. Not really a runner, I remember struggling the most when I knew I was almost at the end of the race. Knowing the finish line was near, though I couldn’t quite see it, I wanted to give up. My legs hurt, my mind was flailing around like a two-year-old having a meltdown urging me to give up. “This is bullshit!” my hecklers screamed. “It’s too hard. I can’t make it. I’ve gone as far as I can. Somebody PLEASE tell me I don’t have to finish.”

But because I’m a prideful son-of-a-bitch (or would that be daughter?), I soldiered on. I’d be damned if anyone saw me quit. And then it happened. I rounded the corner and actually saw the finish line. People I didn’t know were cheering me on with such enthusiasm, I completely forgot about myself and let their faith and excitement carry me to the end.

It is now time to listen for the cheers and I’ve decided to look for that encouragement in words to inspire me to keep moving forward.

I’d also love to hear from you. What inspires you? If you’ve got a quote or a mantra or even a prayer that reminds you to stay the course and not give up, email it to me and I’ll post it to the blog.

We all have our finish lines and why not grab for whatever we can to help us through the tape?

email me at with your thoughts.

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