Friday, June 22, 2012

Breaking through the wall

Yesterday I got my sixth tattoo. It was a coverup up of something I wasn’t happy with and didn’t really fit my personality anymore. I waited a long time to have it done and saved for months to afford it. It’s the biggest one I have and so - no surprise - it took the longest time to get done.
For the first two hours or so, I did okay. The pain was manageable and I was able to talk my way through it. (My daughter and friend came along for support and to engage in mindless conversation with me.) But by the time we got to that last hour-and-a-half, I was in significant pain. I was genuinely worried I might throw up and instead of being chatty, in my mind I was screaming, “Are we done yet?! Please be done!” 
I get the same way when I reach that three-quarters the way through point when I’m writing a book. I move along fairly well and then, suddenly, it Gets. So. Hard. and it seems like it’ll never end. I’ve heard the same thing happens to people who run marathons. (I wouldn’t know because they only time I run is when people are chasing me. Which is to say, rarely.) 
That wall is a tough thing to break through. Like with my tattoo, I usually just grit my teeth, try not to scream out obscenities and concentrate on the end result. 
What about you? How do you push through that wall? How do you find your second wind?


  1. So pretty! I love sunflowers, too. I have a row of them in my MG manuscript.

    I know what you mean about hitting the wall at the 3/4 mark of writing a book. It's a lot like giving (natural) birth, so tough you almost think you can't keep going, but then suddenly you're through, and holding a beautiful baby in your arms.

  2. I was just telling my husband I feel like I'm trapped in Xeno's Paradox revising my novel. I keep closing the gap more and more but I never get to the end. It's like wading through molasses. Thanks for the reminder that I'm not alone!

    1. Kate, I feel like I'm never going to be done revising. It's such a slow process, but I do see the benefits immediately. The part of the novel that's done is so much better. I just wish my pace could be a little faster than molasses.

  3. Car, I sometimes find that if I'm really not getting anywhere, I need to get away from it for a few days. When I take a break, I'm usually dying to get back to my writing.

  4. I agree with you all! Revising is kicking me in the rear end! I'm jumping on a plane and hoping that will solve my problems. *grin*

    Car- love the tat. Looks fabulous!

  5. I'm a big fan of bargaining with myself. Example - if I work for x hours or write/edit x pages, then I can play on the internet or watch a show or start reading a new book. I also play games with myself, like guessing how many words I can cut from a wordy passage or how fast I can type up my next scene. By adding a bit of fun, I can get through the dreaded moments.

    Love the tattoo!

  6. I hit that wall as well. I find chocolate helps.

    Ok, a more serious answer: I do what Andrea does -- sometimes taking a break from it for a few days helps me get my second wind.

    Love the tattoo, by the way. :-)

  7. Oh boy, what an allegory (or is it more metaphorical or symbolic?) It's a great post - and picture - whatever you wanna call it. Amazing, Car ... and that's a spectacular tat :)


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