Why I am walking away

I have been trying to write a blog post for two weeks.

Hint: this is not that post.


Which is a ridiculous amount of time to spend on any one task.

I started off so very strong. Unhurried, with plenty of time to get it done. And I was enjoying it, I really was.

Until I wasn’t.

The point I want to make is simple, clear. And yet, I cannot make it. I am tangled in my words and hating everything that comes off my keyboard. I can’t figure out how to wrap it up in a way that doesn’t make me want to kill myself. And probably take some people with me.

I have been trying. Really I have. I have been making it my top priority every day, getting to it first thing in the morning when I am feeling the most creative.

I have been putting everything else on hold to get this done. Shunning emails, that sales page I meant to put up weeks ago. Neglecting friends and loved ones, bathing, exercise, sex. You name it-I have back burnered it. And yet, it is still not finished.

In fact, the more I am trying to force it, the more it retreats from me.

Maybe I’m just too wrapped up in it. We’re two wombats locked in a close struggle, our claws tight in a death grip around each other’s throats, refusing to release, even as we roll towards the cliff edge and our doom.

(Yes, that IS my process. That’s not how you write?)

When what I really need to do is disengage and let my subconscious work it all out unhampered by my demands. Just start letting the ideas show up, instead of insisting they put in an appearance.

And the tension is mounting with each moment that passes because I want, I need, I MUST get a post out. But not just any post, a good post, a great post. One of my best ever!

(no pressure, though)

Maybe that’s the problem: that ole devil perfectionism.

I have gotten out of my writing groove, so the task has grown in my head from manageable to epic. It has become too precious, too important to me. This has to be the best post ever written by anyone ever in the history of writing.

(What that’s you say? That isn’t the standard you use for your work? Damn.) 

And the need for exquisite transcendence is preventing me from writing anything coherent at all.

As a bonus, the more frustrated I get, the more frustrated I get. Which is not helping at all.

The unattended tasks are piling up around me like snow drifts. You can just barely see the tip of my nose and my pinky fingers twiddling in the white fluff. And I am starting to suffocate under it all.

My daily sense of accomplishment is in negative territory. Every day that passes I am more behind, not only on this stupid post (why, oh why did I ever think I wanted to write?), but also where I am supposed to be with every other single thing IN MY LIFE, GODDAMMIT!

I bet you’ve never felt that way, have you?

So, I’m walking away, Renee.

Not from my business. Not from writing. Not from persevering when things are hard. But from this place where I am continuing to bang my head against a wall and expecting anything other than a permanent migraine.

I’m giving myself the space, the permission to try something different this week. To let that piece go for the time being. But most importantly, to label this a learning experience, not a failure.

In fact, if this is perfectionism, the best way out is always through (with apologies to Robert Frost). Doing it anyway. Letting it be what it will be. Even if it is not the best post ever.

So, with this post, I am handing Mr. Perfection his hat, his walking stick, his cream silk scarf (of course), and ordering him to go try his squirrelly act on some other dame.

So why am I telling you this?

Because I think it’s important for you to know that it is not easy.  Any of this.

When you look around the world of entrepreneurship, particularly online, you see lots of people who make it look easy. Who are pretending that this is easy.

Who talk about their first year of business as a smashing success in a way that makes you puce with envy. But, if you were to peek behind the curtain, you would realize that “first year” came after 32 months of working, crafting, trying, failing, and trying some more. And THEN came their “overnight” success.

I’ve had just about enough of that, haven’t you?

I don’t find it inspiring. I find it dishonest. And worse, disheartening. Because if you are struggling to write, to create, to not be utterly overwhelmed by the 5000 tasks on your weekly to do list, it can make that fight feel like a failure. Like you’re the only one finding this so very tricky. And maybe, just maybe you aren’t cut out for this after all.

That is an appalling message to send.

And I won’t do it.

So if you are struggling, I want to let you know that you are not alone in it. We all struggle at times, no matter where we are in the process of building and creating something we love.

And that’s ok. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It just means this is hard.

And you are human. So am I.

Yes, it’s a post about posting. How very meta of me, right? Have you walked away from something that just wasn’t working? Been ashamed of your struggle? You’re not alone. Tell me your thoughts!

Wendy White - Messaging strategist for coaches & consultants

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