The payoff

It has taken me a longer than I thought it would to finish the first draft of what I hope will turn into my first published book. The closer I get to finishing, the more resistance I have to fight to get back into the world each time. To help me push forward I focus on the finished product, getting those last words down on the page. And that is just the beginning.

My end goal for most of my time writing this book has been to have it published. Really, what I want is for people to have the opportunity to read this book and enjoy the adventures as much as I have. I think this would be the best outcome. The book can be published or not, but I must get it into the hands of keen readers. Now I am into editing, one of my favourite parts of the writing process, I will continue to craft the manuscript and make it into the best reading experience I possibly can. This means shedding the shackles of fear about what other people will think of the book, and committing to sharing it. Collaboration with others has helped me with other writing projects so I must be prepared to receive feedback with open arms and use it to improve this one. This will include implementing some suggestions as given, reading through confusing or ambiguous phrases and rewriting them, removing unnecessary scenes, shoring up loose characters, and general tidying up of grammar and spelling.

The last three days have been unproductive. I suffered some bad food poisoning on Wednesday night, spent most of Thursday in the bathroom, and all of Friday in bed resting. After getting over the worst of it I had a little time to think: What are the end goals of my current projects? I have decided to focus on three.

  1. Edit the manuscript of my book, working title “Balance of Honour”, until it is in a state I, and other critical readers, believe is ready to send to publishers.
  2. Finish recording, mixing, and mastering my three track EP. Send this to my supporters who helped me get to Cincinnati, along with a poem for their patience.
  3. Take definite steps towards my job being a writing position which involves plenty of typing. (It may be odd, but I love the act of typing.)

Sometimes I don’t know the next step. Sometimes it’s about doing something little. Writing a short story with my dad to practice my craft and enter another competition. Practicing the guitar or singing for fifteen minutes every day to keep improving. Be active on this blog to receive what has been immensely helpful feedback and encouragement.

On days like the last three it’s tough. It seems life I’ve been pushed back to square one. All the progress I’ve made still exists but I am unable to acknowledge it. I pick up my Xbox controller and lose myself in a different world because that’s all I can do at that moment. I know this is partly caused by a lack of energy as I haven’t been able to eat as regularly as I normally would. Thankfully this is a temporary state.

InpsireChief reminded me recently on his blog that we will lose a battle every now and then. We all will. It’s how we each respond to these that define us. If, like me, you follow God, reach out. He’s always there to catch us when we stumble. Sometimes it seems impossible to get up off the ground. Sometimes we need that help to lift us out of our funk. Just know, the payoff is always worth it.

Peace to you dear friends. Through struggle and strife I pray you will find the light that awaits the hard work of your journey.

Here’s a link to InspireChief’s blog, there’s a lot of useful insights and information over there:

Cover photo by Ana Arantes from Pexels.


7 thoughts on “The payoff

  1. kinge says:

    I relate to this. So much truth, especially on the closer you get to finishing the harder the climb becomes. I like your positivity and general outlook on the whole process. All the best, success.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. says:

    My sympathies on the food poisoning, Hamish! I am still recovering from a four-month-long illness that started with what seemed to be food poisoning. It evolved into diverticulitis, a kidney infection, a painful ovarian cyst, four days in the hospital on IV antibiotics, a total of two months on antibiotics, a number of tests, a terrible low residue diet that threatened to reactivate my diabetes… I am in the final stages of recovery and feeling quite well. Please take care of yourself and don’t let things get out of hand!

    Best of luck with your book. One thing I might suggest is to put the book away for a while before you do the final edit. Take a few days off to do something you enjoy. That will allow you to see your book with fresh eyes. ❤ I am glad you are making good progress! Cheryl


    1. Hamish says:

      That sounds like a while heap of recovery that you’ve managed well. I’m glad you are in the final stages of recovery and starting to get well. Thankfully my stomach had eased, I’ve had a few days of mostly sleep and I’m feeling a lot better, at least physically. My mindset will need a little more work.

      Thank you for your well wishes. I’m struggling with listening to the right voices at the moment, both the negative one that shows up in my head and those of others. At these times I try and remind myself of a section of one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s speeches. There will nay-sayers, people that believe whatever it is we’re trying to do can’t be done, particularly people that think they’re helping us with what they say. If we have a goal, and put in the hard work, we will find success.

      Very good advice about leaving the book to one side once I finish the draft. Advice I will definitely be putting into action!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. thewheelchairteen says:

    Exactly. ‘Pay-off’ is often what I use to help myself when I get distracted. I simply remind myself what the pay-off is for binge-watching a show and missing a deadline – it’s often feeling horrible about myself afterwards – and then I think about the pay-off after finishing creating something, being on time, and giving my work everything that I have. It’s usually much more rewarding.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hamish says:

      That’s the hardest thing isn’t it? Being honest with ourselves about what the payoff of our current actions will be.

      Like you I can know the outcome of watching too many games of soccer, or playing video games instead of resting. One thing that helps me is having something that will get me to move away from the current activity and into a new one. Requiring food, an appointment with friends, going for a walk, local ultimate frisbee league are some examples. The key then is to make sure I start one of these less productive activities when I have something I need to do in the near future.

      It is not foolproof, and I’m sure it’s not something that works for everyone. And it often leads to me being a little late for things. But I keep trying to be better.

      Thank you for sharing. Keep on with your creativity, I’m excited to see more of your writing! 😁

      Liked by 2 people

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