I've always admired their spirit, but I've never really thought myself one of their tribe. I am of the tribe of comfort, particularly as I get older. Sure, I love going new places and discovering new things. But only to the point of enjoyment. Add pain and suffering to the mix, add adversity, and...well, not so much.
And yet. I am a writer. And we writers challenge ourselves regularly. It is a challenge to write a novel. Ask anyone who's attempted it. It takes time. It takes a certain amount of grittiness, too. For me, somewhere in the middle, it becomes gruelling--the bright idea I had when I began doesn't shine so brightly anymore. In fact, it seems downright dumb or trite. The plot is out of hand, the characters have run amuck, and I've lost my way. I wonder if I will ever find my way again. At that point, I have to pull out all the fortitude I own, all the belief in my ability that I can possibly muster, and keep on keeping on. If I do it and follow through, eventually the story starts to feel right again. I'm reaching home plate, the end zone, the finish line. And crossing over to finish? Well, that's just about the best feeling in the world. I'm guessing that feeling is what motivates marathoners and mountain climbers alike.
I recently finished another marathon of sorts. I signed on for the A-Z writing challenge--blogging every day except Sunday for an entire month, with a different letter of the alphabet representing the theme of each day. On the first, when I started with A (for airplane) I was thinking of having my head examined for taking on the challenge at all. Yesterday, when I got to Z (for zoo) I was still thinking the same. I was tired. I was glad it was over. But I was also feeling pretty darn good about myself. I had met the challenge. I had crossed the finish line.
For all of my fellow ISWGers who did the challenge this year, I offer up a virtual handshake and a great big cheer. You've done it!! Now go out there, and conquer that book you're working on. You can do that, too!