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Found myself feeling a bit

1/31/07 — Found myself feeling a bit discouraged this morning by the sluggish speed of my writing. The more I thought about the seemingly glacial pace, the more it bothered me. Within minutes I came to a grinding halt, a victim of the dreaded syndrome known as Writer’s Block.

I paced the floor. No help.

I went for a walk. Still no help.

So I turned to my last resort — a shower.

Yep, I took a shower. Maybe it’s the hot water beating down on my head that stimulates my brain. I don’t know, but it works! Five minutes under the pounding spray and it occurred to me that maybe I should write this story about mountain climbing in the same frame of mind I try to maintain when I actually am mountain climbing. Climbing is a complex combination of challenges — weather, altitude, snow and rock conditions, the route chosen — that must be met, one steady step at a time, in order to achieve the goal of reaching the top. Sometimes it seems as if the mountain is throwing everything its got at you to get you to give up. It’s hard. You have to dig deep to succeed. But here’s the cool thing: it’s in that digging deep that you learn, and grow the most.

Back in my office, I took a deep breath, dug deep, and started writing again. I’m happy to report that it worked. No dramatic breakthroughs, no whirlwind rushes to the summit of a finished book. I’m still figuring out who the main characters, Ben and Cat, are. And how they’re going to handle the fix they’ve gotten themselves into. But I’m moving upward again, making progress one steady step at a time, and boy, does it feels good.

Wishing you all the best in meeting your challenges.