Source: Death to the Stock Photo

There’s a stretch of road in every half-marathon I’ve ran, as well as a stretch in the writing of a new draft, that feels particularly difficult.

Dani Shapiro writes that when you near the end of a project, it starts to suddenly cooperate, but to me, this is one of the hardest parts of it all. Yes, middles are a slog, and sometimes just getting started is a battle in itself, but when I know the end is nearing, I feel both stuck and both full of nervous, random energy.

Jeez, privileged much? Is there any part of this process that you do like?

There is – many, in fact, and often the same ones that I profess hating. But it’s a true mindfuck (pardon my French) when I hit this space of happening and non-happening. Time stretches. I am exhausted. I am filled with manic energy. I might crash and burn at any moment. I don’t believe I’ll cross the finish line.

So far, touch wood, I’ve managed to do it. But this kind of experience is the closest I get to being suspended in time. (Until we develop space travel, I guess, in which case we all will be hopping in a sleeping pod to await arrival at new colonies. Thank you, sci-fi channel.)

This is also the part where the usual fears seem the most real. What if I never finish? What if I am never ready? I might be less than half a mile from a finish line, but I’ll have forgotten about the 12.5 that I’ve already put behind me, and convince myself that a terrible mistake has happened.

It can’t possibly be ending.

I’ve just started to have fun.

I’ve not nearly suffered enough.

I wonder if this is how other people can tell they are at the right job?



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