H is for high

the letter HSo if I find writing fiction such a chore, why do I persist in trying?

Writing wasn’t always a struggle. At school I was always scribbling stuff in my rough book (Oh how I loved my rough books!); deep, profound, meaningful stuff that I wish with all my heart I still had. Years ago, when I first discovered fanfiction, I would write stories and publish them, and they flowed easily. More recently, I’ve had a story or two that fought their way out of my brain and refused to quieten down until freed.

When writing goes well it feels amazing, a real high. When the characters start interacting with you, writing their own story… there’s nothing like it.

But the problem is that I’ve started to overthink things, and have sunk down into the dumps. There’s the time when you do something badly, but don’t realise, so you don’t care, and it feels good. Then you start worrying just how bad you are, and you sink right down. Gradually you figure out what you’re doing wrong and start putting it right, but it’s all hard work, and it’s an effort to keep going. Eventually, if you keep pushing, you’ll get to the point where you’re doing well without having to think too much about it, and as you climb back up the slope it becomes easy and fun again, but this time having crossed that gap.

With running, it was hard at first because it all seemed a lot of effort. Now, having persevered for over a year, and put a lot of effort into it, it’s becoming so much easier, and the high that comes from physical exercise comes much more easily. I need to push on the same way with writing. Because that high is addictive. I want more of it. I want to live up there permanently. But do I want it enough to keep pushing for it? I hope so.


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  1. I can relate to this. This is how I feel about my Ph.D. at the moment. I’m completely disenchanted. At least we know there was some point where it wasn’t a struggle and that time will come again.

    • True – do you think it’s better to keep looking back or to keep our heads down and plod on regardless?

      • I think it’s important to look back once and a while. Just to remind yourself there were good times and to remember why you started. If that reason is still the same, plod on, but if not, it’s time to reevaluate the situation.

  2. I’ve never thought to equate my runner’s high with the high I get from hitting ‘Publish’ on my blog. It’s an interesting comparison … and you’re right, they do feel very similar.


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