There is a trail called The Incline located in my beloved, adopted state of Colorful Colorado. Those not familiar with it, The Incline is a stunning, scenic hiking trail in Manitou Springs, stretching 2,000 feet in elevation of an already 6,000 ft. above sea level altitude. The Incline served as a railroad track back in the early 1900’s so it’s lined with old rail ties going all the way up. It starts out nice and easy, but soon it becomes a very steep grade of 68%! Reaching the top is quite bitter sweet, because there is what’s called a Fake Summit. You think your done, but you got a ways to go still!
When I visited the Blue Ridge Mountains recently, I didn’t get a chance to do any hiking, but I did get a chance to do some editing. While doing that, I thought about The Incline and how it compared to what I have been doing for the past several years. Writing a novel starts out nice and easy. You have an idea, a thought and you roll with it and let the words flow freely on the word doc. Then you hit that first rail tie. That could be anything: writer’s block, edits you’ve been meaning to get to, no motivation, busy with other aspects of life. The grade gets steeper and steeper over time, as the struggle continues, be it a perfectly crafted story done, or getting up that steep incline. But rushing it won’t get me any faster to the top, or to part where I get to press ‘publish’ on the self-publishing site.
The Incline, as with writing a story, needs to be respected. I must take my time and enjoy the scenery. Seeing each step as getting closer to the top. And alas, after all that effort and time editing, polishing, tweaking, or in the case of The Incline, climbing over those rails ties, pacing myself, sometimes letting others go by as I stop to take a breather, I reached the top! No wait!! Not quite yet! I hit that Fake Summit. It’s not over! There’s still plenty a ways to go. Big sigh!! But you know what, there is something that is overlooked in regards to reaching that Summit. Rather than see how much more I have to go, all I have to do is look back and see how far I have climbed. That is what matters the most.
As always, thank you for reading!