Last week, I took my two youngest kids to Peralta Trail at the base of the Superstition Mountain. I figured that no native Arizonian should live their life without hiking it.
Then I looked on the website—it’s a 4.5 mile hike—uphill. Gulp!
Writing a novel and getting it published is like this. You have a goal—it seems like a good goal—and then halfway into it, you’re worn to a frazzle and don’t know if you’ll live through the experience. Can I make it to the top?
Yes. I was rejected today. They said my manuscript was beautifully written and encouraged me to get it published—by someone else. My road to publication is like walking uphill in the desert over a bunch of rocks and along the edge of a cliff—one setback after another.
We’d walked a mile and I was already tired, and hot, and my legs were wobbly, and I wondered if anything could be worth all this effort. Had I packed enough water? Would I collapse and need air-evacuated out?
Then, two twenty-somethings sprinted past us. “Show-off!” Yes, I smiled and moved out of their way, but I was jealous and wishing that I could have ever-in-my-life ran up a hill. [This is also like my publishing career. Some authors have sprinted right past me and gotten their novels published easily.]
In truth, this was my first ever 10-mile hike uphill (I swear the 4.5 statistics are wrong on this one), so I’m pleased that I made it at all.
Three-quarters of the way up, I was seriously re-evaluating things. This wasn’t fun—why was I doing it? “You can do it. You’re almost there,” a stranger said. “You’ll be glad you did. It’s beautiful at the top.”
Okay then. This little boost of encouragement by someone I’d never met, gave me the incentive to go all the way to the top. [My writing friends are like this. They keep encouraging me. I keep improving my skills and one day I'll be at the top (published).]
It was a beautiful view. What made it even more glorious is that I hadn’t given up. I had endured to the end (well, other than still needing to hike back down).
But yesterday someone asked about the hieroglyphics. What hieroglyphics? I hadn’t seen any.
My grandson asked if we’d seen the cave. What cave? I hadn’t seen a cave.
Sometimes I’m so focused on my goal that I forget to enjoy the scenery along the way--but the stuff I did see was pretty amazing.