You’ve all heard that old saying: “Caught between a rock and a hard place.”


Now, really, how many of us are ever going to get caught between a rock and something harder?  Maybe, if you’re mountain climbers, or cave explorers, or scuba divers. Things like that.  All of which sound too dangerous for me.


But we also know that’s not what the saying means.

Dangerous Shore

Dangerous Shore




In its subtle meaning lies the message.  The point.  If we’re there, we’re stuck.  Mired down in something on all sides.  That something could be physical and dangerous.  Or internal and maybe more scary.  Because those internal fears and dangers we endure quite often steal our personhood.  Drain our energy.  Deny our success.  Ignore our failures.


Thus, as a person we remain stagnant and cowering between that rock and a hard place. 😦


As a writer, I often put my characters in such situations.  Sometimes I’m so mean to them, I wonder how they’ll ever get out between this rock and that hard place.  But they do.  Because they don’t give up, they analyze, they fight, they grow and they’re successful.  That’s my fictional story, and I can control those rocks and hard places.


Ah, but my writer self?  What are those places for me?  Oh, many, but one dangerous situation I have that I think many writers share, is that time in our writing process where we know the ending, we’ve put together a gripping beginning, and we’re cooking along in that all important middle. 


You think this is a sagging middle uplift hint, right?




I’m thinking about that rock called, Everything I write is crap, and that hard place named, I’ll never be a success.  If you’re lucky, you’ve never hit this dangerous zone. Like an IED (Improvised Explosive Device, or booby traps of old), you never see them coming but their damage can be horrific.  Mine usually happen a few times during a writing project, even one I feel great about. 


I had one this last week–as I was doing a polishing edit to my most recent work.   There I sat, with my printed pages in my lap and my purple pen at the ready to make my changes.  I hit that IED.  Hard. 😦


I can’t write!” followed quickly by, “Readers will hate my books.”  I wallowed in my danger zone for about an hour.  Then my writing muse kicked my butt, reminded me why I love writing and yeah, some readers won’t like my work.  But that’s okay.  Then she gifted me with the perfect little tidbit to polish up and finish the chapter I was editing.


That hour was dangerous.  Had it lasted too long or “help” hadn’t arrived, I’d have bled out all my creative juices.  Or been stuck on that chapter for the next week, or never finished the editing at all.  Whose fault would that have been?  Mine.


I am my own toughest critic and the biggest obstacle to my success.  Or at least my perception of success.  And if I don’t feel successful within myself, how can I ever achieve not being afraid of it, or worrying about it, or hampering my creativity because of it.  I can’t.

What do I do know?

Where do I go from here?




Can you put a name to your rock and a hard place?

Have a great week! 🙂

Explore posts in the same categories: Life Skills, Light bulb moments, Writing

4 Comments on “”

  1. edie17 Says:

    I’m often in the rock and hard place spot. But I’ve been there so often I know if I don’t give up I’ll get past it. And I always do!

  2. Oh, yeah, Edie. If we live we have those moments, some less than others. I’ve been in some real dandy ones. 🙂

    Thanks again for stopping by and chatting on this DREARY morning.

  3. Well, I don’t really have a name for that place between the rock and the hard place, but man, you described it so perfectly because I’ve been there, too. I’m so very glad your muse showed up!

  4. Hey Stacey,

    I’ll be glad to share my space and my names with you. Any time… 🙂

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