Work Sets

Lisbeth Essays

Some days, you sit and the words don’t come. Or they come, but they’re the wrong ones. Bad ones. Horrible ones. Or, much worse, just good enough that they pass and you publish them. Ugh. Only to realize later how bad they were, how awkward, how banal. How dirty they make you feel for giving birth to more crap in this world, for adding to the pile of mediocrity, for being complicit in some continuing, relentless attempt to suckify the world. Your words suck, and so you suck. This is the writer’s lot, whether it makes psychological sense or not. No matter how many calm, rational people tell you otherwise, no matter how many kind souls try to talk you off the ledge, you know this truth: You are your words and they are you.

153 unpublished drafts on this blog alone. 14 notebooks full of scribbled lines, half-paragraphs, and three page epiphanies. Probably 300 Post-it notes stuck in that drawer. Consider them work sets, not PRs. I won’t show you the work sets. They are me alone in the gym, trying to pull under the bar. Me trying to get my foot wrap right on the rope. Me coming up just short of chest to bar. Me … needing to try harder. I won’t diminish the world by publishing one less post, but I will make things worse by publishing less than my best. But not publishing doesn’t mean I’m not working.

Why am I telling you this? Because you are me. We are not so different. We all have work. We all have passion. Put them together, please. And then try even harder. Work, work, work. And show the world your PRs.

Lisbeth Essays

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