Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Promises to Keep

Today, I feel strong. I feel like I can handle this industry, this profession, and everything that comes with it. I know there are many bumps, and bruises that come with the skills I am building, but they'll be worth it.

Today, I believe that.

Other days, I feel like giving up. I feel like no matter what I create, it will never be good enough. That no matter how far I go, I will always have a mile left to reach the next goal.

The only thing that makes me feel better when I'm having an "Other" day, is knowing that I'm not alone. That all of us feel this way sometimes. Feelings of inadequacy are a plague that attack everyone, everywhere, not just me. As a writer, as a mother, as a friend, we're all certain we are not good enough from time to time.

But remember, we are not alone.

There is always someone else who felt the same, or worse...and kept going. Your pain is not unique to you. There is always someone who had it worse and didn't give up. Persistence is one of the greatest traits of humanity. Do not let go of that. It is in us all to keep trying no matter what.

One of the things that keeps me going is a poem by my favorite poet, Robert Frost. It's called: Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.

The best part is the last stanza:

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

We all have promises to keep. To our characters, our loved ones, our anyone who believes in us.  I believe in us today. Do you?


  1. I've been having quite a few of those "other" days lately. Sometimes the idea of giving up is easier than believing in yourself. Thank you for reminding me of the promises I made to myself. So needed to hear that.

  2. I've had too many days like that. I never knew that taking on writing would make me feel this way. But I do feel better when I know I'm not alone. Great post Jenn! <3

  3. That's one of my favorite poems. Today I do, tomorrow might be a different story and there's still hope for Friday.

  4. Thanks for the inspiration. All we have is today and what we want to make of it. Thanks!

  5. This post was already awesome, but then you went and quoted Frost. WIN.

  6. I really needed this today. Thank you for sharing.

  7. So true, so true! Writing is no different from striving for anything else. Mothering is a great examples of sometimes we amaze even ourselves and sometimes we blow it. The thing you seem to understand it is about the overall journey. Keep at it, keep doing your best, and your babies, literal and figurative will turn out just fine.

  8. It's funny how we can go up and down so much in life and writing...or not funny, really. I am grateful, like you, that there are people who understand. I don't know what I would do on those "other" days without those helping hands!

  9. I love writing. I find such enjoyment in it. It can be so frustrating though especially when it isn't coming as fast as I'd like.

    When I write "My Story" (I swear I'll finish it someday) I write for myself. I write for my kids. I write for my wife. They are my audience. They are my star.

    It's nice in our darkest moments to be able to see the star that guides us. I just have to remember to look up every now and then.

    Thanks for being such an inspiration.

  10. Wow, beautiful post. I believe in us too.

    There are lots of days when I feel like giving up. But they never last long, because I have AWESOME friends who keep me going, and who write gorgeous blog posts that remind me why I do this. I believe in us today. And I. Will. Not. Give. Up.

    The end.

  11. A post that is seriously, desperately needed by so many. And that poem is one of my favs too. There's something both calming and invigorating about it. So glad you're trucking on. So grateful you're helping others to also. *hug*

  12. Back in the days of teaching, I wrote a personal mission statement (more of a mantra, really) alongside my struggling students. The idea was to have something that would remind us why we do things even when the rewards are miles off. Mine is:

    Be peaceful.
    Be patient.
    Be persistent.

    I seriously wrote that on a card in my library study carrel almost every day when I was studying for PhD exams, and it is my reminder when I am trying to duck my promises to myself for my writing time.

    Keep believing.