Sunday, August 26, 2012

How Hiking is Like Writing

I've been doing a lot of hiking this summer, usually with my family and our boxer, Maya. On this trek through the Sandias, I started thinking about how much hiking is like writing.

1. I always start out strong.
2. About halfway through I discover the path isn't as clear as I thought.
3. I often forget it's all about the journey.

1. I always start out strong. I have my trusty Sandia Mountain Hiking Guide, my good shoes, my camelback filled with water and my trail mix, but somewhere along the way, I realize I left the trail guide in the car, the frozen water in my camelback didn't thaw as fast as I drank it which has left me sucking ice, and I've eaten all my trail mix (or else the chocolate pieces have started to melt). I always start out strong with stories too. The ideas feel fresh (like the trail mix), and I feel well equipped for the task. It's important to remember that initial enthusiasm as my motivation begins to fade. 

2. About halfway through I discover the path isn't as clear as I thought. Sometimes it's hard to know which direction to take. Either there seem to be too many choices, or else the path comes to a dead end and I have to back track. Sometimes I just need to sit quietly until I can get my head together.

3. It's all about the journey. When I'm in the middle of writing a story, or hiking a trail, it's easy to think about reaching my desination, but in the case of hiking, I always wind up at the exact same place where I started... my car...hopefully. When I'm writing a story I always wind up at the same place too... The End. Then I begin the process all over again. In both cases I need to focus more on relishing the experience than simply completing the task.


  1. Amen, Carolee!!! When I gotta draft something so fast that enjoying the journey gets even harder. I just have to get it DOWN on the page as fast as possible. :-)

    Great piece!

  2. Yes, sometimes it feels like the journey is moving at lightning speed!


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