Running Up That Hill

This is the hill I run up when I'm feeling the need to push (or punish) myself on my run.

No, it's not a big hill. But to me, it sometimes seems insurmountable...if my knees hurt that day or if I'm thinking about the time I'm spending running when I could be writing or just because I ate too many damn Junior Mints the day before.

But when I get to the top and I turn the corner onto the flat part of the trail, sucking air as I go, I think, Damn, I did it. Yeah for me. I didn't stop halfway up to catch my breath. I didn't avoid the hill completely and follow the easier path.

And once I reach the top of the hill, I know that, even though there will be more hills on other days, today, that hill is conquered.

Writing is full of hills. Sometimes you get to coast down, but mostly you're struggling up.

The first hill, finishing your first book, may seem insurmountable but when you push through to the end, the high is incredible. The next hill, whether it's publication or agent representation or both, can feel like Mount Everest. But once you climb that one, aching and out of breath, you want to make like Rocky, raise your fists in the air and shout to the world. If you have enough breath left.

But you don't. You keep running because you're not done. You're never done. There's always the next book, the next run, the next hill to climb. And every time you hit the top, there's that joy, that sense of accomplishment.

The next time you think about not running that hill (or not writing that book), head straight for it. Don't stop, just do it. And when you hit the top (or type the end), let me know how it feels.

It should feel pretty damn good.