The hallmark of successful people is that they are always stretching themselves to learn new things. —Carol S. Dweck
I Love My Hiking Friends, But...
All of my hiker friends are liars. Their enthusiasm for natural beauty makes them chronic under-exaggerators. “Oh, it’s an easy hike,” they’ll say, and if I look dubious, they’ll elaborate: “Very easy. I can do it in about half an hour!”
I was reflecting on this last week, as I hiked up to the top of Vernal Falls in Yosemite National Park. A hiker/liar had brought me there, claiming that the hike was “three miles long” and “not that hard”. Of course, they weren’t counting the walk to and from the trailhead, and or the parts that they had “forgotten” and/or “actually never done before”. At the end of the day, my Apple watch said that I had walked over ten miles—much of it straight up the side of a mountain.
I was tired. But I wasn’t mad at my hiker/liar friends.
The Limits Of Our Ability
Because if I had known how hard that climb would be, I would never have done it. And I would have missed out. Because the hike was beautiful. (I took the photo above.)
But—more than that—I wouldn’t have known that I could do that hike. I thought that I was too out of shape; I believed that I should stick to something easier. Instead, I was tricked into doing something that was entirely within my capability. It was hard. Very hard. But I did it.
Sometimes, writing can feel overwhelming. Halfway through, we wonder, “Why did I ever begin this project?” It’s only at the end that we realize that we could do it, that we did do it, and that we’re stronger than we thought.
If you’re feeling frustrated with your work, try to remember that the difficulty of the challenge is part of the reward. You can do it. You’re already doing it. Just keep going.
If you need a little help along the way, check out my free workbook that will help you outline your novel in 30 days.