When one’s life is falling apart – as I see it – you have two choices.
- You carry on. Say to “hell with it, I’m going to carry on doing what I’m doing, and ignore everything else.”
- Or you give up. Go and jump off a bridge or a tall building or something.
I don’t see the point in the latter – so what about the first? I read an interview with Mark Cavendish the other day in The Times. He’s also had a sort of rubbish year by all accounts: his grandma dying; his best mate in a road accident; his brother going to prison; health problems. He was talking about the tour (De France) but he could have been describing writing a novel:
“It is more than a job or an ambition. It is my passion, the think that makes me tick, the thing I wake up thinking about. But the pain is not a negative. It is inseparable from the high you get from riding the Tour.”
(3.7.10. The Times.)
He had a terrible first few days. During the 4th stage sprint before the end, he visibly appeared to give up and drew back from fully sprinting to the finish. Things didn’t look good – what a comedown for him after his six stage wins in last years Tour! But he came back the next day and with awesome support from his team he won the fifth stage in dazzling style. No air of defeat this time, he rode like it the last ride he was ever going to do.
What did Nietzsche say? “What does not kill me, makes me stronger.” Or was it Kanye West? And what about Muse? “Rise up and take the power back… We will be victorious!” (A very strange coincidence I thought, that they chose to cut the footage of Cavendish’s tearful win with “Uprising” on ITV 4.)
To hell with misery, I say. I will not give up, I’ll carry on. I will finish this novel.