The steep hill proved too daunting. In a young girl’s six year old world, things appear bigger and more overwhelming than to other older children. As she stared at the sloping hill on her bike donned with pink ribbons and blue training wheels, she kept shaking her heard and telling me she just didn’t think she could do it. “It’s too scary,” she told me. Yet, as I encouraged my daughter to try it, I couldn’t help but think of how I treat the tasks in my life that prove equally as daunting.
Although I am relatively new to the writing world, I have learned a lot over the first three years. However, when I’m posed with a particularly difficult writing challenge, I immediately want to shake my head and not attempt it. Instead of barreling down the hill with no sense of direction, I told my daughter to just take it a little bit of it at a time. I showed her how to put her feet on the pedals, coasting for a little and then braking. I challenged her to continue until she returned to flat roadway. With much trepidation, she tried it. When she got to the middle, she didn’t give up, but waited for a moment to rest and then continued. When she got to the end, she grinned as I shouted “See, I knew you could do it! You did it!” Proud of her accomplishment, she attempted all of the other hills using the same strategy and conquered them with ease.
I am currently changing the main premise of my new non-fiction book proposal. The challenge seems daunting since I am having difficulty stringing all of the elements together. My daughter has taught me an important lesson: if I just take it a little bit at a time, stopping frequently to rest, I can master it. I learned it is more profitable for me to strategize how to get the job done in little chunks rather than giving up altogether.
Are there writing projects that have proved more daunting than you anticipated? What is your strategy to break it up into small chunks and take it one bit at a time so you can accomplish your task?