The Writer’s Wheel 1/12/20: The Tall, Tall Mountain, Better Known as Success
There are always first steps in every journey you take. Sometimes you fall. Pick yourself back up and go on. Writing is like anything else. There are highs and lows. Good times and bad. To quote the expression, “Sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees.” We don’t always know where we’re headed. Who can define success? It’s different for everybody. Nor should you feel any shame that you’re not as far ahead as anybody else or that a dirt fork diverted your path from the main trail. Life hits hard at times. We can’t be expected to pick ourselves up fast every time. It’s okay to walk away for a short while if you need to or if you’ve come to the decision to let go of writing all together. It doesn’t always work out for everyone.
It can be a bumpy journey. All the rejections. Focusing on a career with small children under foot can be difficult but not impossible. Working the day job can distract you from your stories, especially if you want to get ahead in that business as well. I get it. You have to feed your family. Pay for bills. Insurance. College. Retirement. The list goes on and on. Are we ever done fulfilling them all? Aging parents. Our own health issues. Pets in crisis. More lists. We do what we’re able to and move on.
Just like with our books, it can be a long time reaching there. And how to support ourselves as we muddle through. Here, there may be a loss of a job. A spouse may fall ill. God forbid, something happens to our children. Grief can be a destroyer. You may go away, again, for a while. Maybe never return. Still okay. Our lives aren’t meant to mirror. I don’t even want to think of the day when something happens to my mother, but the years are turning fast. Writing helps me to survive. I hope it continues to do the same in the future. It’s my outlet. My safe place.
Here’s where we reach what we consider the tall, tall mountain. Whatever to us, may be success. You might have one book in you. Or ten. Maybe more. Again, we define what it means to us. Is it the money? The praise? The awards? When you reach your plateau, you’ll know. To me, there’s always something to reach for. Some goal to conquer. Just like there’s no end to learning the craft. We’ll never know it all. And if we do, we’d better strive to start over quick because there’s just no possible way. It could be arrogance talking and there’s no place for that in writing. At least, that doesn’t end in a sharp slide back down the mountain.
The True Ending.
This is when you decide you’re done. You’ve done all that you wanted to, are satisfied with the number of stories you’ve told. It’s called the wrap-up and it’s where happily-ever-after or happy-for-now begins. For me, I hope it’s when my fingers type that last sentence that ends the latest book and my loved ones gather near. I want to say good-bye to my WIP and my family. Morbid, you might think. However, I find joy in writing just as I do my family and pets. My life. All of it. The miserable. The bright spots. And in-between. It’s the climbing that’s necessary to get us where we’re going. I want to finish as many of my stories as I can. How about you?