You Can’t Do Everything

Sometimes, you can’t do everything.

01a. Overwhelmed

Image © Drew Coffman

Stephen King may write 2,000 words per day and read for at least two hours, but not to put too fine a point on it, he’s Stephen King. He can afford to spend that much time reading and writing because it’s his day job and he’s ridiculously wealthy. The rest of us? Well, we take what we can get.

At the start of the year, I wanted to write a book review every single week. That would mean reading a book per week, normally before Monday, writing the review on Monday afternoon, and scheduling it to be posted on a Thursday somewhere between 11 a.m. and noon.

This week, you may have noticed that A) the post is a little bit late, and B) it’s not a book review.

Why? Because I can’t do it all.

I may have finished my lectures for now, but I’m still incredibly busy. I have a 4,000 word essay to write. I’ve had to do writing for the wrestling company I work for. I’m doing National Poetry Writing Month. I’m doing jobs for my mother around the house now that I’m free. I’m going to the gym. I have wrestling to attend. And on top of that, I’ve come down with a cold.

01b. Cold

Image © Myriams-Fotos

A poor excuse? Perhaps. But it’s still the reason why, this week, I haven’t had a chance to read and finish a new book.

And that’s okay.

As I said at the beginning, sometimes, you can’t do everything. We set ourselves goals and we try to achieve them, but even when you do your best, there are some days when circumstances conspire against you and not even your best is enough. Captain Jean-Luc Picard of Stark Trek once said “It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness. It is life.” and that’s still true now.

01c. Picard

Image courtesy of RoyWayneMays

This week, I have done all that I could and not managed to get a book review written. It happens.

Will I make up for this missing review by writing an extra one at a later date? Maybe. Or maybe I’ll consider this opinion piece equally valid and say that it counts for the missing week. It doesn’t matter.

What does matter is the message behind this. It’s okay to fail at goals that you set for yourself. It’s okay to do your best and try your hardest yet still fall short. It’s not whether you reach your target the first time that counts: it’s how you respond to failing. It’s picking yourself back up, realigning your sights and shooting again and again.

It’s hard. And it hurts. I’m disappointed that I won’t have 52 consistent book reviews on this blog. But I would rather have this post admitting that failure than a missing week, and I would rather admit this failure and try again than give up.

We are more than our mistakes and failures. We are our perseverance. We are our strength.

01d. Strength

Image © 3dman_eu

~ Penny

Related Post: Sunday Scribblings: Life Can Be Tough

Want to get in touch? E-mail me (, message me on Facebook, send me a tweet (@pennygotch) or leave a comment!

Available Books

Solo: Under the Tree / Dark Heart / Write Nothing

Collab: Personal is Political

Images © Penny Gotch (, Liam Whear, Susan Wright and Molly Penford.


Filed under 2017 Posts

2 responses to “You Can’t Do Everything

  1. Pingback: The End of the Thursday Review | Penny Gotch – Writer

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