Quitting is easy.
I read one of those inspirational quotes the other day, the variety that says if you can find the courage to start you can find the courage to finish, something like that. I think that might possibly be hamster poop wrapped in baloney.
I’m a starter. Not a finisher. I can muster all the courage I’d ever need to launch a thousand ships, but when it comes time to see things through, to keep sailing during the boring and hard parts, to weather storms and all that jazz, well, I’m the kind of girl who jumps ship (Pardon my sailor speak).
Like right now. I’m trying to write another chapter about clothes because I haven’t finished a chapter in a month. There’s nothing I want to do less. I cleaned out my garage to avoid writing. I did the dishes. I watched four episodes of a TV show of which I cannot remember the title.
And I’ve been doing this for weeks. I’ve baked cookies for friends, organized closets, taken my kids swimming, all instead of writing sentences about clothes.
Because I’m done writing about clothes. I did that. I liked it. Oooh, look, a shiny, new thing!
Beginnings are cake. Sure, sometimes they take courage, but if you used all your courage to begin, newsflash, you are sunk (Yes, I just wrote newsflash. I was born in the 80s. Sue me. That’s something else we said in the 80s. Sue me.).
The point: Middles are harder than beginnings. Life lags in the middle. Things get quiet or complicated. Visions of grandeur settle into missed deadlines and flabby paragraphs and having to use all your spare minutes working instead of going to movies or reading books or sleeping.
I’ve written the beginning of my book and I’ve written the end, but not the middle. I don’t know what to say in the middle.
In the beginning you say, “Here’s the problem. It’s big. Let’s fix it.”
At the end you say, “Look! We solved the problem! Yay!”
In the middle you wade through the problem in rubber boots, getting problem stink all over you. You live, not in the mysterious, unfathomable sea and not on predictable solid ground, but rather chest deep in swamp.
You could feasibly trudge your way out of a swamp. But it won’t be easy and it won’t be glamorous and no one will throw a party if you do.
I like parties.
I’d love to pull this post toward a satisfying ending, wrap it all up with pretty solution ribbons and a Yay! banner, but, while it’s the end of the post, it’s the middle of my middle.
Stuck in this middle as I am, I’ll have to find mild satisfaction (that mild satisfaction middles are famous for producing en masse) in the fact that I haven’t jumped ship.