I’d Rather Burn Out Than Fade

Ignite your flame.

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I work too hard.

It’s a blessing. It’s a curse.

This doesn’t make me special or “better” in any way. It’s just who I am.

I set a goal and I sprint toward it until one of two things happens: I exhaust all my efforts until there’s no possible way of making it work, or I cross the finish line.

Blog posts. Articles. And a lot of work you don’t see, because honestly, a lot of what writers do never gets seen. That’s the nature of creativity.

It’s exhausting. But there are few complains in my heart (or on my Twitter profile).

I don’t know where exactly all my hard work will lead me. None of us do.

We know where we want to end up. I have a pretty solid idea of where I want to be a year from now, at least.

But that doesn’t mean we’ll end up right where we imagine we will.

Often, we land someplace even better than we hoped for. Eventually.

We spend a lot of time waiting for things to happen. We’re all guilty of it — even me. We wait for the right moment to put our plans into motion. We wait for opportunities to open up. We wait for others to reach out to us.

Even though there is no “right” moment. And we’re often responsible for creating our own opportunities. And we have to reach out to other people — they’re highly unlikely to make first contact.

Working hard is exhausting. There will always be moments when you Just Don’t Want To Anymore.

You’ll get discouraged. You’ll feel like you’re failing. You’ll start to question every decision you have ever made about this creative ‘hustle’ you were convinced would change your life.

But that’s when you have to decide.

Would you rather just give up — fade into the shadows of What Could Have Been?

Or will you go down swinging?

Keep creating until you’ve done all you can do?

Keep trying until something works?

Keep going, because what do you really have to lose?

I’d rather burn out than fade. One of the last lines of a song that could hold a dozen different meanings (isn’t that the point of a song — to meet the listener where they’re at?).

A phrase that has, if I’m allowed to be a little hyperbolic, changed my life.

I’d rather end every day feeling like I’ve made the most of my time, no matter how tired I am by the time my head hits the sheets.

I’d rather rise every Monday morning anxious, but ready to tackle my to-do list with as much enthusiasm as my first two cups of coffee allow.

I might be taking things slow. I might not be where I want to be quite yet.

But I’m trying. I’m doing the best I can.

Are you?


Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.


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