Thursday, September 25, 2014

Keep Going, Keep Going, Keep Going!

Imagine sitting alone in a room, or at your desk, or somewhere where you are supposed to be doing your work.  Not your job, the thing you’re paid for – but your work, the thing you were born for.  You have this picture in your head of your perfect life.  Not a perfect life, but your perfect life, the one you were born for.  But at this moment, it seems very…very…very far away.  You’ve already put in a significant amount of time and energy.  You’ve made your commitment.  You have no intention of changing your mind.  But at this moment, the promise of your goal seems very…very…very far away
What do you do?  You have two choices – you stop or you Keep Going.
There are three ways to stop.  You can stop for a while.  You can take a break, a nap, a day off.  You can stop for the weekend.  There’s nothing wrong with this, though in my own experience, the most I can go is a day.
You can stop until things get easier.  You can stop after the kids have grown, when you have more money, when you have fewer commitments, when you have more time or energy, or when life is a little less complicated.  There’s a word for this day.  It’s called, “Never.”  There will always be something; in fact, there will always be a lot of things.  This way of thinking is deceptive and dangerous.  Your return date may also be “never.”   Like Peter Keating in The Fountainhead, you might give up your chance. 
You can stop altogether.  You can decide that you’ve put in enough time and energy and you have little or nothing to show for it.  You can go on to something else, but you run the risk of going on to nothing at all.  “But,” you say in protest, “you don’t know how hard I’ve worked.  I’ve worked and worked and sacrificed, and I have nothing to show for it!”
I get it.  A lot of people get it.
John Kennedy Toole won a Pulitzer Prize for his book A Confederacy of Dunces...posthumously, more than ten years after killing himself due to depression and an unwillingness to seek medical help.   So there’s no guarantee of success.  So, again, I get it. 
All I can say is this:  I’m not giving up.  I may be discouraged, tired, frustrated, sad, broke, or alone, but I’m not quitting.  I may feel like I have nothing more to offer, but I’m not giving up.  I will keep working.  I will reach my goals, or I will literally die trying (though not like Toole). 
Here’s the good news.  When I started this blog, I had no idea what I was going to say.  In fact, I procrastinated on writing today because I had no idea what to write. Then I sat down and began working and the words came.  This is how it works.  We sit down and do our work and wait for it.  The Muse appears.  We do something, anything, and something will happen.  Anything can happen.
All that is required is to keep working.  Feelings don’t matter.  Discouragement in any form doesn’t matter.  Only the work matters.   You don’t stop. 
You Keep Going. 
You Keep Going. 
You Keep Going. 
I see no other valid or sane choice.  Keep Going.