Embracing Setbacks – The Climb #243

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Embracing Setbacks – The Climb #243

Thursday 21st September 2017

I’ve had a good week so it was only natural that it had to balance out.

That came in the form of me managing to pull my lower back in the gym this evening.  It’s in the same spot I pulled a while back and it’s so annoying.  I was doing squats and just felt it pop.

The trouble with swordfighting is that you are a bit asymmetrical.  Like tennis players, you have one side that’s stronger than the others.  And that means that when it comes to things that distribute strength such as bench press and squats it’s easy to injure your weaker side.

I’m annoyed by it but not as annoyed as I would have been if I’d done it last week.  I came back home and rolled on a massage ball but it hasn’t seemed to improve it… which sucks.

I think part of it is because I’ve been sat around the last couple of days.  My cold has meant that I’ve not really been moving around.  On top of that my muscles are probably fatigued from the weekend and Sunday.  Still doesn’t make me happy about it.

However, I’m not sad.  Any journey will have setbacks, and hopefully this is not too serious a one.  It’s just annoying that I always seem to get injured there.  It’s certainly a weakness and one I need to work on.  Perhaps I should take up yoga or something?

But the whole experience reminds me of discussions I’ve been having lately.  If you are seriously going to try and achieve anything, then there will be times it doesn’t go to plan.  You have to take risks and not always play it safe, and that means sometimes getting it wrong.  That could be trying a heavier weight and pulling your back.  Or it could mean writing a story that doesn’t work.

I think some people get confused and think that to ‘succeed in their aims’ they can’t ever have setbacks.  It’s not a competition where you have to win every fight.  Instead it’s a journey, and with that come highs and lows.  It’s not the fact that you have lows, it’s that you pick yourself back up and continue on.

As I said to a friend earlier this week, I always allow myself a day to be pissed off or upset at a setback.  But I have to get up the next day and continue on.  It works quite well for me.  I acknowledge the setback, allowing myself to be as pathetic as I like about it.  But then I move on.

I think that’s where some people fail.  They dwell, or they try and act brave and pretend that the setback doesn’t affect them.  Sure, it’s not always easy to move forward when you feel you’ve been kicked in the gut… but you have to at least try.

Worse still is to get scared by the setback and decide to play it safe from here on out.  Yes, I need to look at better preventative measures to stop injuring my back.  I possibly need to take it easy with the weights for a while.  But the answer is not to never go up in weight.  Recover, make necessary changes, and then continue to take risks.

It’s probably apt then that I found a Facebook post from 3 years ago waiting for me this morning.

In it I wrote:

“I’ve been thinking a LOT about my writing career these last couple of days. After the great comments I got from big name US agent, it’s made me realise I have two real main options. I either find a decent UK based agent and potentially have the type of career I would have exchanged body parts for even just a few months ago.

Or. Or I go for it. I REALLY go for it. I work hard and get myself the type of agent who, given the right books, could take my career to an international level and NYT bestseller lists.

I know it’s dangerous ground to ever think you could be great. I’m certainly far from it at present. I’ve got plenty of faults as a writer. I push myself hard and sometimes I’m so focused on delivering one element, (voice, epicness, etc.) that I don’t get the balance perfect. But I don’t miss the mark by as much as I beat myself over. I write decent novels but I take risks so they’re not always the most commercial.

I’ve got The Four Realms books to stroke my own ego and validate calling myself an author. Of course, there will be those who will label me as little more than a self-published wannabe. Shit happens! But I need to remember that I’ve always been the type of person who sets out to do the impossible and achieves it yet never rests on his laurels. I’ve got a lot of books in the pipeline, which I’m not only going to write but edit to within an inch of their life. Plenty of room to practise, to get it wrong and work out how to do it right.

I feel I’ve levelled up as a writer and about to embark on the hardcore difficulty option. Who knows what’s around the corner? Hey, I might be completely deluded but nothing’s certain and I’m going to have fun trying. Fuck it, it’s time I start believing in myself and stop apologising for having a dream.”

3 years ago I took a major risk… and sure… there’s been setbacks.  This was nearly a year before I got my agent.  And I’ve continued to take risks.  And have I proven to be to be deluded?  Even though I’ve still not sold the book, I think it’s fair to say I haven’t been.

Be bold and embrace setbacks.

If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.

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2017-09-23T18:33:39+00:00September 22nd, 2017|Health, Publishing, Swordfighting, The Climb, Writing|0 Comments

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