You know the mantra. "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can..."
Well.... have you ever had those experience that go more like, "I can't do this, I can't do this, I canNOT do this!"
My most recent, "I cannot do this" occurred, big surprise, when I was hiking an intermediate trail on the Alps. And yes, I did include the word intermediate to make myself sound uber-tough and skilled. Unfortunately, I'm not an intermediate hiker. I'm about as novice as you can get. So... about twenty minutes into the hike, I start thinking, "Oh crap. I can't do this. But I can't make my whole group give up the hike! But I can't spend a night in the car while everyone goes up the mountain! I have to do this. I can't do this."
Well, surprise surprise, I did do it! 8 kilometers up, and 8 kilometers dow- oh wait. There was that part....
"I can't do this oh my gosh it hurts I was insane to do this what was I thinking I can't do this they'll have to call a helicopter oh I was determined to do this but I just can't."
Going down the trail was infinitely more painful than going up. And that hike was the first time in awhile I got such a huge case of "I can't"s.
I'm not really an I can't sort of person. I'm competitive, I love challenges, and I have a really strong will. Mind over matter has gotten me through a lot of "I don't know if I can"s, including terrifying roller coasters (I hate them), those stupid free fall things at carnivals, hard discussions, impossible assignments, and really frustrating levels on video games. But sometimes I do get the can'ts, and you know what?
Almost always, I do. I can't, but I do.
What about you, authors?
Obviously, I did make it down that trail. Painful, miserable as it was, I did it, and I was glad I did it. But at that point, it was past willpower, it was necessity. Yes, I COULD have been helicoptered out, but gosh, how embarrassing! Not that mincing down the trail was much less embarrassing... (P.S. I ended up losing two toenails and my feet were still bleeding when I got home and took off my hiking boots.)
And recently, I've been getting the 'I can't's about writing. And authors, it's hard.
But we have to, don't we? It's past willpower, it's necessity.
What challenges have you conquered? Did you ever think, 'I can't'?
(P.S. I have conquered the I can'ts. I'll tell you how in my next post - dundundunnnnnnn!)