The middle stretch

If you ask me what my favorite part of any project is, I will tell you the beginning. From idea generation to initial planning and list making to getting things off the ground and running, I love it all. I even do OK with being involved in getting the details settled into working order.

Then it comes: the middle stretch. This is where most of the project lies. Resources are allocated, assigned to personnel, and tracked in minute detail. Progress is regularly checked against benchmarks, adjustments are made, and copious meetings in seemingly endless personnel arrangements to discuss problems and get things back on track. Budgeting, reining things in, and moving towards project completion.

All the itty bitty numbers, thousands of data tentacles, the decisions and arguments that need to be made, and the grunt work all bring me down. I get woozy, confused, and depressed. Get me too far into the project, and I literally have to force myself to move towards the end. I give up. I dread the process. And I just can’t wait for it all to be over.

I really wish I could get into this whole “enjoy the process” thing. I have long been focused on doing Things, getting Results, and achieving a pile of Done. I do get a thrill from performing at a high level of productivity. Yet, I still couldn’t get past the feeling that it all didn’t add up to anything meaningful.

On the flip side, I do enjoy the writing process. But pulling it all together where I am going to write some body of work and get it published. I am supposed to be some kind of marketer. And I understand the need for publishers to get authors who can keep their own momentum going. I really do. It makes perfect, reasonable, logical sense to me.

Unfortunately, the internal struggles with myself, with the work that is in front of me are not conducive to amounting to Great Works, to consistency, or to enjoyment of processes.

When you are having trouble at a particular stage of your work, what are some strategies you use to get you through it?


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