Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Keep Climbing

My knees are wearing out which is pretty common as we get older. Arthritis sets in and cartilage dissolves. It gets harder to go up a long flight of steps. Oh, I can do it but I have to push myself more than those days when I zipped up and down the steps without a thought. Now, I go more slowly and I hang on to the handrail. It's not really much different than when we climb a staircase of goals on our way to becoming a published writer. We all do it a little differently.

We start out on that bottom step and keep moving, one stair at a time. Somewhere along the way, we get tired and wonder if it's worth continuing to move on to the next level. Rejections might move us back a few steps. Wrtier's Block might do the same thing. We get discouraged when we send a story out to several editors and no one sees the potential it has. Only the one who has written the piece knows that. At least, they think they do.

So there we are, moving backward on that stairway to writing success. At that point, there are two choices. Either keep sliding down the steps until you hit bottom or use every ounce of determination you have and keep climbing. We know the view at the top is beautiful. We know that we're going to find real satisfcation in having made the climb. We know that once we hit the top, we won't ever want to slide downward again.

The stairway is long and each step may feel harder to achieve than the one before it. Picture an entire building the size of a train station with staircases lined up side by side. Each stairway has a writer at the bottom ready to make their way to the top. Think about the attributes of the writers as they proceed to climb step by step. Who will get stuck halfway up? Who is going to make it to the top? Who is not even going to try to move past the second or third step?

For one thing, they are not all going to ascend at the same speed. Some will get discouraged and may sit down on a step to ponder whether it's worth continuing or maybe quitting and heading home. Some may go it alone while others might ask for a mentor to be their cheerleader. A few are going to appear to be running up the steps like a gazelle across an African plain. Others may take their time, go very slowly but carefully and thoroughly. Fast or slow doesn't matter as much as putting one foot in front of the other and moving up one step at a time.

Whichever way you choose to go, I hope you will keep climbing and find that breathtaking view at the top.

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