Mile 20

I’m running a marathon, and I’m at mile 20, and I’m tired.

This is the perfect segue. Kick me in the shins if you think otherwise.

Today.

It’s either like, ok, I’m using ALL my brain cells here, and the client doesn’t give a rat’s ass, or I’m using zero brain cells here.

There’s this story of a girl. She was 20 years old when she started writing her first novel. It took her 10 years to finish it. She was 30 when she hit the NY Times best seller list.

She was hailed a genius for the times. Her book was being made into a motion picture; it was translated into seven languages. Everyone wanted her on their talk show and podcast. She was on the news doing interviews almost daily. She won literary awards.

She had it all.

Ten years later — age 41 — and she was unable to write and finish another book. She had hundreds of starts, but not even a first chapter.

She went down this dark path of assumption. With decades left in her, she feared that anything she wrote from that point forward would be judged by the world as ‘the work that came after the freakish success of her first book’. She started to believe that it was exceedingly likely that her biggest success was behind her.

This led her to drink gin at 9am.

The lesson: Me, like she, needs to know to put a safe distance between myself and the anxiety if I want to continue to do the thing I love — and that’s writing. Distance between myself and what the reaction of that writing is going to be from now on.

(Also, if you really start to get into this gin thing, there is another realm: vintage gins.)

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