Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Something about Limits

See what he's doing?
That's what you should do.

As machines, we all have our limits.  We all have that sign that plainly says, "Stop, Cliff Ahead."  Everyone is different.  We all go to different distances, have different things that make us break.  The important thing is that we know our limits.  To not know where your limit lies is to not know how much you are able to accomplish.  If you never know what you're capable of, how will you ever push yourself to the edge?

Writers need goals. How hard we push ourselves is what drives us to reach those goals and body slam them into a barbed wire fence.  

In my experience, there are three basic types of person.  We all have different ways of dealing with stress, with pushing ourselves, with setting goals.  Everyone does.  Generally, everyone also fits into some sort of category (and don't tell me you don't, because that's its own category).  There's nothing wrong with any of these people.  (Also, I like both lists and labels.)

The Walker
These people work slowly.  Any disruption of their routine and the plan and motivation is gone.  Their limits are very close to home.  Often, they work for short amounts of time while taking frequent breaks.  There's nothing wrong with this, in fact, it might be the most healthy type.  Walkers have a hard time pushing themselves, however, because they're unaccustomed to it, but they almost never need long term breaks.  Slow and steady wins the race.

The Masses
This is probably most of everyone.  You have a limit.  You know where it is.  You don't go over it.  Nothing wrong with that.  As long as you know where it is, the Masses can keep themselves happy and healthy relatively easily.  The Masses know when and where to go over the limit and push themselves, but it isn't a common occurrence.  These are the people who 'bring out the big guns' to get things done, and then quietly store that gun back in the closet until the next time.

Limits, what limits? a.k.a. The Machine
This is me.  Walkers and the Masses call these people machines.  They work tirelessly.  They work until their eyes are bleeding.  They dance on the limit line, then take a jackhammer to it.  Capable of achieving vast amounts of work in a very short amount of time, we're your standard Kamikaze.  We're perfectly willing to break ourselves to accomplish our goals, and will if we believe it necessary.  While it sounds all well and good, this is unhealthy!  Some Machines are capable of keeping up the pace for weeks or months at a time...until we break and have to recover. 

Find your limit, no matter what sort of person you are.  Find it.  Know it.  Respect it, unless you're a Machine, in which case, respect is a nonissue.  And cross that line.  Know what it's like to push yourself, and if you're uncomfortable there, that's fine!  Everyone has their own pace, methods, and general idea of how they do business, but every once in a while, we have to challenge our routine or risk stagnation. 

How's your work ethic?  Where are your limits and how do you know you've crossed them?  Do my questions sound like standard essay questions for a college exam?  

1 comment:

  1. I have been thinking of writing as a muscle. If you aren't used to it then it will be difficult at first. But the more you write the more you can write. I agree that it is good to push yourself though, work out of the comfort zone so you can grow. This is a great post. I am really enjoying your blog. I'm glad I found you on JunoWriMo!