“When you’re writing, it’s rather like going on a very long walk, across valleys and mountains, and things, and you get the first view of what you see and you write it down. Then you walk a bit further, maybe onto the top of a hill, and you see something else. Then you write that and you go on like that, day after day, getting different views of the same landscape really.
“The highest mountain on the walk is obviously the end of the book, because it’s got the best view of all, when everything comes together and you can look back and see that everything you’ve done all ties up. But it’s a very, very long, slow process.” Roald Dahl
How true this is, isn’t it? And if anyone knows, it’s our friend Roald, creator of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, and Matilda — books that have delighted countless children.
A long walk across mountains and valleys. Thinking of a writing project in this way helps, doesn’t it? It conveys a sense of place and purpose. It conveys the excitement of a journey, with all its delightful potential for surprise and wonder and discovery. And it also captures the idea that persistence and momentum are needed. Once you start writing, you have to keep on keeping on if you are to get to the top of the mountain.
But, oh, the view there! When you can look down and see everywhere you’ve been and how many valleys and other mountains you climbed. But now you’ve arrived and you can relax and enjoy yourself, knowing that you’ve created something whole and complete — that “everything you’ve done all ties up.”
Let’s start with the end in mind. Let’s see ourselves on that glorious mountaintop where all the world lies below us and everything we’ve done has come together, hushed in harmony. Write on!
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