I’m stubborn, but easily bored. I could never run a marathon. It’s too d**n looong, it takes forever! I’m like that child in the backseat asking it’s parents over and over again: “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” Then why do I want to write a book? A project that evidently takes months, maybe years. Beats me. I suppose I’m crazy, because how can you finish any longterm project without perseverance?
One Friday evening, when I was 9 or 10, I told my mom I wanted to do the washing up after dinner. She gratefully excepted and I dug in. There were a lot of plates, pots and pans to wash up. After 30 minutes I still wasn’t done.
My mom and sister sat down in the livingroom to watch TV. I could hear them laughing at something funny and I felt alone. There were too much left and I couldn’t join them until I was finished. I remember that heavy feeling of not seeing a tomorrow. Like Cinderella I was stuck doing my chores and I would miss the ball because of it.
If It Takes Too Long I Won’t Do It
That experience taught me to stay away from big projects. I managed for a long time, until I was studying drama-theatre-film at Umeå University, and I had to write my essay. It was only 30 pages, but how I struggled!
I easily lose track of thought. In an essay you have to keep it together, argue for your cause and write understandably, but yet intelligently. I found it extremely hard – and it was only 30 pages!?!
To Persevere As A Writer
As I did my first attempt to write I just started. I didn’t think much about where it was taking me. I also chucked the “red thread” out the window. First I will write, then I will piece the parts together, I thought. Now I have at least two half done projects: my screenplay and my inspirational book. How do I finish them?
One thing I’ve realised is that perseverance and self-confidence walk hand-in-hand. The more confidant you are the longer distance you can go. It’s all about the mindset. I never learned self-confidence as a child, and learning as an adult is difficult. It takes time.
Support Is Important
I’m not unique in any way. The process of writing is just that, a process. It goes up and down, you believe and you doubt. You have to hang in there. That’s when friends and family come in.
Without support it’s tough as h**l, and it takes twice as long. What would athletes be without the people cheering? Football teams without their fans? A writer is alone most of the time, but needs support as well. When my faith is wavering I need somebody to say: “Pull yourself together. You’re almost there. I believe in you, even when you don’t. You can do it!”
I don’t remember if I ever managed to wash all the dishes. Standing there alone in the kitchen, kneeling on a chair to be able to reach the sink, I did learn a thing or two about myself. Perseverance doesn’t come natural to me – and yet I haven’t given up on writing.
That’s some sort of perseverance. Isn’t it?