The Mountain Won (and a ROW80 Check-in)

Time for more mountain analogies, Squiders. I think we’ve compared writing to climbing mountains before, but the fact of the matter is that you have a lot of time to think while you’re trudging uphill.

So, last Friday, my family and I decided to attempt Mount Evans, one of Colorado’s famed fourteeners (mountains higher than 14,000). My husband and I were supposed to go by ourselves, but babysitting fell through. By ourselves, my husband and I would have owned that mountain so hard.

But we weren’t by ourselves, and people didn’t like the altitude, or wanted to be carried, or climb rocks, or play in alpine lakes (very cold, fyi). And eventually we were forced to retreat (we did make it to 13,800 feet) and it hailed and snowed on us.

But climbing mountains, like writing novels, isn’t all about the end goal. Yes, summiting (and finishing a novel) is an awesome high. But part of climbing (and writing) is the journey.

We may not have made it to the top of the mountain, but we saw some awesome vistas. Mountain lakes with steam curling off of them, their surfaces as flat and still as glass. Alpine meadows with a myriad of wildflowers, yellow and white and purple. Rocks covered in moss and lichen, and the sharp, jagged peaks looming into the sky. And we literally hiked up into a cloud. (Or the cloud came down to meet us.)

There’s something very interesting about being inside a cloud, where the landscape on either side of you drops off into empty, white space.

Writers write. And sometimes stories don’t work. Sometimes stories get dropped in the middle, never to be picked up again. And that’s okay. Writing–any writing–is good, even if it never goes anywhere.

And next time, who knows? Maybe the mountain gets conquered. Maybe the story gets finished. But you don’t know if you don’t try.

On the ROW80 front, I’m participating in an August consistency challenge, doing 30 minutes a day on my editing. Thus far this has really helped, and the story is finally moving. I’m probably about 20% done at the moment. I’m also trying a short story a week challenge. I haven’t really started that yet, but it should be an interesting exercise.

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