Mount Never Rest… the writer’s journey.
I have decided the writing journey is like mountain climbing…up Mount Everest, wearing flip
flops, without oxygen, or a sturdy Sherpa lugging your gear. More precisely, it feels like Mount Never Rest. Just when you think the real work is done, there is the dreaded obstacle to publication known as platform. The agent I pitched my book to wasn’t amused when I described mine as a flatform.
So how is the writer’s journey like mountain climbing?
Both start as a distant dream so unattainable you don’t give it serious consideration. But it doesn’t go away. Eventually it’s either try or go crazy. In a moment of insanity, you say why not?
You make plans, study the process, attend conferences, enter contests, and make friends with other climbers. And you daydream about the summit—also known as the New York Times bestseller list.
You abandon your family—at least, that’s what they’ll start telling everyone when you don’t come out of your writing space for days on end.
You read blog posts about why you probably won’t get published and how to love your editor (it’s coffee and chocolate). You buy equipment: books on craft, writing software, a website where you are expected to blog regularly about things of great value. If you’re brave, you’ll get business cards with a headshot—preferable your own. You train more. You write more. You start to feel capable.
You buy your ticket to base camp.
Base camp can be a lot of fun. It’s sort of a party atmosphere. Kindred spirits talking about the same things you love. It’s safe there. If you’re not careful, you may get comfortable at base camp and abandon the goal—the top of the mountain.
You hear stories from those coming back. You see the frost-bitten, shell-shocked, oxygen-depleted looks on their faces. Many didn’t make it. The climb was too steep, the conditions too harsh, the editors and agents too cold. For the ones who did make it, there is a shadow in their eyes, lurking behind their victory, their time at the top was short. The journey must begin again.
At some point you will either have to strap on your crampons and head up or pack your bags to go home. Ascending will be hard. Slippery slopes like unfavorable critiques and negative responses from agents and editors may send you sliding backwards, or force you to start over. And just when you think you've got a grip...
...the blizzard of platform blinds and disorients you.
It’s hard to see your goal now. I thought I was supposed to be a writer, not a marketer!
If you have followed my blog, I hope you have found value in the words I write—encouragement, enlightenment, or even a little entertainment.
Sharing my words through technology lets me make connections with new friends I wouldn’t otherwise have known. I respect this gift and my calling by attempting to make the world a better place through written words.
My novel is completed, but the journey isn’t over. In today’s publishing world, a writer needs a platform—numbers of social media and blog followers that make Mount Everest look like a speed bump.
A respected agent with a major literary agency said of my book, “I love your writing…but I can’t represent you until we have some better numbers.” Don’t get me wrong. I was ecstatic to hear she liked my work. That was the goal. But telling an introvert to get out and attract followers--people who want to read what I have written--is a like asking the ice cream man to walk through the park selling spinach.
I have no idea where this is going to end up, but I know God knows.
In the meantime, it is my honor to share my written words with you in hope you may find some value in them.I haven’t reached the top, but hand me a granola bar and another cylinder of oxygen. I’m going up.
I love hearing from you, so let me know what you think about this blog, writing, or even what the Mount Everest (or Mount Never Rest) of your life is.