When The Finish Line Vanishes

It is the unknown that keeps people up at night. Pondering how life may look if we did something else, what could have been, perhaps should have been and our fears suppress the actions we would have taken.

It was finished, that idea that sparked a sentence, then a paragraph then many months later an entire manuscript. A vision becoming reality. The bulk of the goal accomplished and now the finish line appeared on the horizon and it called my name. All that was required was an edit or two to polish the piece and go from manuscript to novel. That was 3 months ago. Today, the imminent finish line has vanished.

It was my fault. I thought the writing was close to brilliant. But with my mind in editor mode I saw it was close to rubbish. Then the story changed and I didn’t connect those dots and enveloping those factors was my total underestimation of how much time editing takes. The volume of work required to fix the holes and raise the standard of prose. I am re-writing entire chapters with new scenes and sub plots that didn’t exist in draft one. Is that editing or am I back into the perils of writing.  

Progress is painfully slow. Scenes that took a day to compose are now taking a week. My brain hurts from switching sides; creative to analytical and back to creative again. Procrastination has risen. Writing, once done first thing in the day, the one non negotiable has moved down the list. I’m chasing other things, items that are more measurable. Tasks that can be finished quickly. Anything with visible progress, finish line in sight. I’ll clean, I’ll bake, I’ll do whatever takes me away from the computer. From the tapping of letters on a keyboard followed by mass deletion. 

This is the hard part. Before, what I thought was hard, I realise were easy obstacles. I am now at make or break. It would be easy to stop. I have many excellent reasons for giving up. If I tossed it away and someone asked me why, I could pull out any of those arguments. The other person would nod, they would agree with me that I made the right decision for the justifications I provided and then move the conversation along. But in my heart I would ache and be unable to look at myself in the mirror. My life, like everyone else, a history of decisions. Moments of choosing left instead of right. Selecting A and not B. What if I do stop. But stopping will have me tossing and turning and pondering. I must finish so I know, and knowing isn’t trying it is finishing, and in finishing maybe it will change my life, maybe it won’t. Either way I will have an answer and I can sleep with knowledge. 

I’m tired. The excitement of this venture has gone, it doesn’t exist when I’m in the trenches, trudging along. I didn’t know it would take this long. It feels it’s taken long enough and I’m now doubting I am even halfway. But I’m too far along, there is no going back. This dream has caught me and shackles me. The idea is alive and it has manifested and won’t let me go. Yes you are weary but you are capable it says. So I must push through. Continue to chip away no matter how slow, no matter how much other parts of my life try to derail me. As slow as it is, every sentence kept and moved on from is progress. The finish line may have disappeared from my horizon, yet I know it exists. This is where faith kicks in. In my ability, in my endurance, in my determination. Faith the finish line will appear again and I will cross it. I have faith the finish line has a place for me on the podium and I need to keep going until I’m standing on it. So forward I go. Because once I cross that line that will be the moment I say, thank goodness I persevered. And I will know, what could have been, what should have been. What is.

7 thoughts on “When The Finish Line Vanishes

  1. PAMason says:

    Thank you for this! Exactly where I’m at now, the finish line suddenly dipping below the horizon. Good luck in the trenches, you’re not the only one 🙂

    Like

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