On Sunday morning I didn’t think I was in for a good run. I was tired. My legs felt heavy. But I hadn’t run on Friday or Saturday and the air was relatively cool after a Saturday night rain. I thought it was worth a shot. I started slowly. I kept going. At a little under 3 miles, I felt good enough that I added an extension that brought me to 4 miles. At 4 miles, I was feeling so in-the-groove that I decided to add another extension and make it a wee bit over 5.
I’m not quite sure what happened in the course of those first 3 miles. There was no one moment when I went from “this feels lousy” to “this feels awesome.” But that transition happened nonetheless. The mistake would have been to quit during the lousy part before I ascertained that every minute was feeling just a wee bit less lousy than the previous one.
I have been thinking about this as I ponder coming up with a new non-fiction book idea, and putting my existing novel through one more round of edits, and as I debate taking another stab at writing a new novel (maybe during NaNoWriMo?). I’m already writing a lot. A lot! The idea of thinking up new things seems about as appealing as running 5 miles when my legs feel heavy.
But I know if I do start on new projects, the odds are good that a few weeks in, I won’t feel lousy. I’ll love what I’m doing. I’ll want to spend time on these projects. The key is to notice the minutes feeling less lousy, and hang on through that.
When do you tell yourself to hang on through the lousy parts?