As a triathlete, I know that one day I’ll have to make the big decision to hang up my old, worn, racing shoes. (After all, I think you’ll agree they’ve seen better days!)
What will be the tipping point? Will another injury and months of physical therapy do it? Will I have another accident? Will I lose interest?
I thought hard about this during 2020, when race after race was cancelled. The Ironman race I spent 8 months of hard training time preparing for, mostly in 100-degree desert heat, was cancelled about 10 days before the big race. For days, depression had me seriously considering selling my bike.
What Variables Impact Our Desire to Achieve a Goal?
Squeezing in training in an overscheduled life, physical exhaustion, massive time and emotional investment, self-doubt, injuries (mental and physical)- these are the variables that effect how much I enjoy triathlons, and how long I will keep racing.
Funny, these sound a LOT like the variables that effect how much I love writing. We all eek out what little writing time we can, between our many responsibilities. Late night writing sprints, edits, or story outlines after work can be exhausting. We spend months, if not years, perfecting our manuscript for submission. The rejection rate from agents is high; the chance to get an agent willing to run our precious words across the finish line, small. Rejections are hard to take. Repeated rejections? Can leave us more injured along the way.
But we roll up our sleeve and try again. That’s why I have made a list of agents to start my next query. Why I have a nearly completed manuscript on my desk. And, yes, I am training for the Ironman again this year, despite the desert temperatures. I am excited to keep moving toward the finish line with both of these big goals in my life.
Two Rough Years For All of Us
Most of you probably have similar stories over the last two years. Writing, exhaustion, rejection, cancellations. But you are still going. I haven’t hit the ‘quit’ wall yet, either. Honestly, I am not sure what it will take for me to decide to stop. For now, I am just glad to know 2020 didn’t win.
What would it take for you to put down your pen and quit writing? Better yet, tell us what keeps you writing, despite everything? Please share with us in the comments.