Next month, my daughter will run a marathon to celebrate a milestone birthday. I marvel at her training routine: 10-mile runs, half-marathons, intervals, cross-training. I can't wait to cheer her on in Aspen.
Although my running days are over, I've recently completed a marathon of sorts. I've just spent six months revising 26 chapters for my forthcoming book, Business Matters: An Independent Freelancer's Guide to Business Survival. Today I sent the final section to the publisher.
When I began the project, I was exhilarated by the route ahead. I had wanted to publish a book for years. At the starting line, I had a few jitters, but I soon hit my stride and even experienced the nirvana of "flow," becoming so fully absorbed in my writing that I was oblivious to my surroundings. At one point while I slaved away in my office, the dog barked and I wondered, "I have a dog???"
However, after a few miles (er, chapters), I began to doubt whether I could ever finish this book. I longed for the whole thing to be over. I just couldn't seem to catch my breath; as soon as I finished one chapter, the rest of them loomed ahead, up a long, long hill. I thought about quitting.
And then stubbornness kicked in. Even if I ended up crawling on my hands and knees, I would finish this book. No longer worried about making every line perfect, I did the best I could and struggled on to the finish line. Persistence overcame perfectionism.
Tips for completing your ambitious writing projects
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