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Scaling the hill

Have you ever done any hill walking?

If you have, you will no doubt recognise the feeling of setting out and seeing the peak you are aiming for as an eternity away. The eventual destination is hazy in the distance, perhaps obscured by clouds and a long way off. You walk and walk and walk and the summit never seems to get any closer. In some cases you even lose sight of it and wonder if you are going in the right direction at all.

Then, suddenly, you turn a corner, look up and realise that you are almost there. You’ve gone from a sensation of no progress to near completion in an instant. It’s a great feeling.

I’ve recently noticed that writing a first draft is very similar. I’ve been plodding along with Age of Oppression for some time. I’ve been putting one foot in front of the other,, pushing through the undergrowth and wondering if I’m going in the right direction. I’ve enjoyed it, of course – just like hill walking, the journey is just as enjoyable as the destination – but it can get discouraging when you feel you are still miles away from the end. And my, how my feet have hurt some of the time!

Then, suddenly this week, I realised how near the summit I now am. I’m writing a section involving a puppy (NO HARM WILL COME TO THE PUPPY!!!!!) and in my mind, I heard myself say, “So, once this happens, there’s the exchange with Dale, Givern comes back and then… wait…. oh, then we’re at Midwinter.” Midwinter is when I’ve set my denouement. At the darkest point of the year, I’m going to shed a bit of light and hope and round it all off with a song.

So here I am, close to the summit, almost without noticing that I’d been making progress. And it is a great feeling. I’m really enjoying it and it is spurring me on to make the final push to get to the top.

Of course, just like hill walking, getting to the top is great – but you are still only half way. Completing the first draft only sets me going on the long and painstaking process of editing a revision.

But hey, that’s a great journey too.

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