Year two of book writing. My ultimate endurance test. And, amazingly, a source of focus and joy. No matter what comes of this manuscript, I know I’m not wasting my time. I’m learning. And I’m becoming who I want to be.
This week marks the beginning of the rewriting. I’m actually having fun, seeing what’s good and not so good, diving in and giving it everything I’ve got. No holding back this time round. It’s like inviting all the pieces of myself that have been floating around, waiting for just the right moment to come together, to coalesce into the ‘blue pearl’ that is me. No saving for some future, as if this part of my life is a dress rehearsal.
It’s not about this book being good. It’s about it being as great as it can be. That means I need to be patient enough to hold back the manuscript until it’s ready.
It also means I need to develop the endurance of a long-distance writer. As a species, we’ve been favored when it comes to running long distances. Unlike other animals, we can sweat, thereby reducing our body temperature and avoiding overheating. We have short toes, increasing the efficiency of our foot movements. We can store energy as fats in tissue and as glycogen in our liver and muscles.*
When it comes to long-distance writing, I’m not sure we have as much going for us in today’s world. We’re inundated with calls for our time, energy and attention—from media news to overflowing email inboxes, expectations for socializing and keeping up with the Joneses. It’s only a few days into the new year, and I find myself being even more rigorous about what I do with my time than when I was doing the initial writing. And, interestingly, even more interested in developing my physical stamina so I can complete this book and do the work I want to do for the long haul.
So, yes, I went to the gym today to get reacquainted with the equipment and the exercises. Not because I made a New Year’s Resolution to get fit or strong. But because that’s what I need to add into my wellness mix right now, along with yoga and swimming, to fully reclaim my health. It’s been a long 5 years making my way back…but the next 5 are going to be great! Perhaps by 2018, I’ll even be able to do this yoga pose….
* “The Human Body is Built for Distance”, Tara Parker-Pope, NY Times (2009)
This blog post by Shae Hadden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Photo credit: Flickr, Ron Sombilon Media, Art & Photography – Western Canadian Hatha Yoga Championships