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Okay, I admit this isn’t exactly Halloween-themed, and by not exactly I mean not at all (sorry, Kati!) but I wanted to share my recent adventure with you all.  Mostly because I’m super proud of this picture I took:

Garnet Lake

I went on an 11 hour hike with my husband, dog, and a couple of friends through the Ansel Adams Wilderness.  It was so amazingly beautiful there, words cannot describe.  Here, have another picture instead.  This one is even better because Gordy’s in it.  😉

dogs make all pictures better

While I was hiking, and hiking, and hiking (11 hours is an amazingly long time to hike, at least for me), I started thinking how similar it was to writing.  When we started off, we were all cheerful and excited, eager for the day’s adventure.  I told our friends it reminded me of that video of the hobbits.  You know the one.  And after that it was stuck in my head the rest of the day.

Later, a couple of hours in, we were around 10,000 feet and I felt exhausted.  So tired.  I wasn’t sure I’d finish the hike, and frankly, beautiful scenery or not, I wasn’t sure I even wanted to be there anymore.  Then, I had a second burst of energy.  Maybe it was seeing this:

if your dog’s happy, you’ve got to be happy…

So I felt good for a while, happy to be out there, excited for the lakes still to come.  And then…even more exhausted.  I realized before I hadn’t actually been tired at all.  This, this was tired, this was really tired…and then I was alright again.  And then even more tired.  Repeat.  By the end I was just numbly putting one foot in front of the other, watching the sun slowly sink towards that horizon and wondering how the heck that last sign said just 3 miles left – we’d been walking waaay longer than that, right?

But then it was done, we were headed back to shower and eat pizza and beer, and life was great.  I kept thinking about how fun the whole trip was.  And how is that like writing, you ask?

When you start out, it’s exciting and new and you can’t wait to keep working on your manuscript.  Then you hit the middle, and you start to peter out a bit, start to think of other ideas you could be working on.  This is when it begins to get difficult.  If you push past that, you’ll be excited again, writing your way towards the end, all eager.  And then you’ll be near the end, and endings are difficult, but…if you finish, you have a completed draft.  Yay! Exciting.  Except…now it’s time to edit.  Now you realize before when you thought it was hard, that was nothing.  The real hard work is still to come.

Or at least, that’s been my experience.  How about you?

Oh, and speaking of hobbit videos, my friend made this one about our hike: