The Value of Personal Growth: Pushing Through the Pain

The agony of the writer. I am not the first to write about this and certainly not the last. But alas, I will try to render my personal experiences and inspire something positive out of this profoundly uncomfortable feeling.

I’m in the middle of editing my business book, which is an exploration of what I have learned about building a business – it is, in essence, the business handbook I wish I had had when I started as an entrepreneur. I thought the writing process was going to be the hardest part, and editing the book would be a breeze. I would only have to hire a great professional, and the rest would sort itself out.

[Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash]

[Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash]

It has not turned out that way. Editing my book has been just as hard as writing it. During this process, my editor is pointing out mistakes, such as instances of bad writing or disorganized information. Sometimes he’ll highlight gaps in my descriptions.

Reading some of the comments makes me sometimes feel like I am being tortured – to the point that I do not want to open the document anymore. I have to force myself. I am not exaggerating.

After so much effort, though, I am not giving up. So, my solution is to soldier on and push through it. I give myself deadlines, and I sit until I finish the day’s milestone. Yet the discomfort continues, and I wonder why this is so difficult.

My conclusion is that this is what the pain of growth is. I finally realize why people say writing a book is so hard. Writing forces you to confront things you may have not otherwise encountered, such as discipline or lack thereof, the quality of your writing skills, your knowledge about topics, and pure stamina. Because it shows so clearly the places for improvement, it is also an expeditious path to growth.

Going through the struggle of responding to and resolving all my editor’s comments is a valuable experience: it reminds me that I can always learn more and that once I learn, things (eventually) get more manageable. Learning is not fun all the time, but hopefully, I will come out a better writer in the end. I am hopeful because I have gone through pain like this before, albeit during a less extended period.

Last year, I wrote and later published a children’s book. This process was also tricky. First, I did not know what to write about, but after three attempts, I finally wrote a story that I loved. I then found an editor to read my story, and my assistant and I found an illustrator.

Three months later, after going back and forth to find the perfect characters and layout, the book was finally ready. I had to learn about publishing and ended up launching my book two months after my deadline. In retrospect, each step seems simple enough, but they were not. Each phase was filled with uncertainty and questioning, and I struggled at times, especially at the end, when I thought I was never going to get my book ready on time.

[Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash]

[Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash]

This year I wrote my second story, and compared to last year, it has been a breeze. I can see the difference that initial experience has made in this project. For example, I already had an editor I loved, and I worked with her again. I am also looking forward to starting work on the illustrations in January with the same illustrator I hired last time. More than that, I feel good about the process. I have learned how to self-publish a children’s book, and I am excited about launching this new book into the world.

Meanwhile, it’s time to go back to editing my business book. Hopefully, next time I write one, it will be a little less painful.


Pamela Ayuso is an author and the co-founder and CEO of Celaque. She is a real estate entrepreneur and developer who has executive leadership experience in two of the most successful real estate developers in Honduras — managing operations at Alianza and leading Celaque. Celaque develops office and residential buildings and manages a broad portfolio of properties. Pamela’s focus is on growing Celaque into a model for the 21st-century company.

In addition to her role as CEO at Celaque, Pamela is the author of Amazon best-selling book, Heptagram: The 7-Pillar Business Design System for the 21st Century. She offers practical business and personal development insights for other entrepreneurs and business leaders on her blog and LinkedIn. Her husband and her three wonderful daughters inspired the story of her first children’s book, Alicia and Bunnie Paint a Mural.       

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