Friday, January 3, 2014

Of Mountains and Molehills

By Sarah Reichert

I always come into the New Year with a renewed sense of rigor for my writing.  I tend to get bitten by an organization bug that prompts me to clean out old drawers and closets.  Dust bunnies run screaming.  I find old notebooks and revisit post-its and scraps of napkins where ideas were hastily scribbled in various moments of genius.  Sometimes the genius is still there, sometimes the genius was more of a crazy half-cousin that nobody talks about.  All of them, good or bad, are waiting for their chance.

There is potential in the New Year.  To do things differently or continue down paths that have shot us forward in both our goals and personal growth.  To succeed where we have failed, to continue the fight we started, to climb the rest of that mountain.

It is my hope that you, my fellow writers, are mid-hill, having accomplished something amazing that surprised you in the last twelve months.  Something that set off a spark.  A light.  The priceless feeling of knowing in your heart that you can do what you set your mind to doing.

The first steps are the hardest.  The first move in the direction of your dreams is a decision to stray from the path and take a risk.  It’s often scary as hell.  But once that first step is taken the second comes a little easier, and the third even more so.  Hurdles are jumped, pages are filled and before long you realize that it takes more to dissuade you, and less to convince you that doing what you love is worth the toil and risk.

If you are still at the bottom of the mountain looking up, and that throat-clenching feeling of “Oh, God, I can’t do this” is stuck like a lump in your chest, look at your feet instead.  Stop seeing the mountain.  See the steps.  Put one foot in front of the other; that’s all it takes.

Coddle an idea.  Write a page.  String pages together.  Write a chapter.  Throw chapters together.  Edit.  Edit.  Edit.  Breathe and edit again.  It’s all steps, one in front of the other.  Break down the impossible into the possible. 

Eleanor Roosevelt once said; “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”  

You can do this thing, and I can’t wait to read your next story.


Shirley Drew said...

Loved your post, Sarah. Encouraging and realistic.

Sarah Sullivan said...

Perfect clip art to capture the can-do step at a time message of your post. Many thanks for the encouragement!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Excellent post,Sarah. I loved the "Coddle an idea," line and "Break down the impossible into the possible." One step at a time is definitely the secret.

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