“Live your life each day as you would climb a mountain. An occasional glance toward the summit keeps the goal in mind, but many beautiful scenes are to observed from each new vantage point. Climb slowly, steadily, enjoying each passing moment. The view from the summit will serve as a fitting climax to the journey.”
Harold V. Melchert
Completing a writing project is a lot like climbing a mountain: We have a distant goal in mind and many a mile to go before we arrive. To help us keep going, we can focus on outcome and output so intently — setting goals and straining to reach them — that we forget to enjoy the view, to take pleasure in the journey. But it’s often small
moments of joy and satisfaction in what we’re aiming for that provide the fuel, the juice, to help us get there. So let’s take pleasure in the view along the way:
Let’s enjoy gearing up: As we fire up our computers or pick up our pens or ride out in cyberspace in search of research material for a story, let’s take a moment to enjoy the tools of our trade — all the equipment that helps us do what we do.
Let’s enjoy using our minds: How lucky we are! The work we do, our calling, is tailor-made for keeping our minds young and supple, for stretching them and creating new byways in our brain. What a gift!
Let’s enjoy the challenge: There’s nothing more satisfying than wrestling with something difficult that you really care about. My good friend and mentor Dr. Rob Gilbert often say this on his wonderful Success Hotline (973.743.4690) — and I’ve found it to be true. Tackling a thorny plot problem or reigniting a character who’s gone flat is exciting and energizing.
Let’s enjoy the act of creation: Every day, in small and large ways, we have the opportunity to create something that didn’t exist before: to call our characters to life, to give them voices, to share what we’ve learned and believe with readers. Just engaging in this powerful, life-giving process can be a source of joy and energy — and
help keep us going.
I don’t know what mountain you’re climbing today, but let’s all lace up our boots, start climbing slowly and steadily, and take time now and then to enjoy the passing scene from wherever we are. Write on!