El Capitan Lessons for Writing

It was refreshing this week amidst the news that the war on terror rages on  across the globe, especially the news out of Africa, to have a story of courage, determination and friendship with the two men who managed to scale the face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.  The biggest take away I gleaned from their story was their determination and the tenacious way they literally hung in there on the side of the mountain for not a day or two but for weeks.  They had setbacks time and again, but they pressed on, I am sure that made their arrival at the summit all the more sweeter.  There was no instant gratification in their feat and they knew that going in.  Undaunted they began their journey and patiently found their path.  When they fell, they got up and tried again and sometimes again and again.  Their loved ones cheered them on and with discipline and honor (they did not engage in any short cut measures) they achieved their goals.  What a great message in the age of instant everything.  As a first grade teacher I hope I help my students learn the value of tenacity and the patience to hang in there to achieve.  As a writer I see the message in the El Capitan story as inspiration.  I am still green in terms of the profession of writing.  I am reading and researching and trying to understand the publishing world which seems to be undergoing a transformation, this is a little unsettling for someone new who wants a you do steps a, b and then c and then you are published.  I have no grand illusions that I would be a bestseller overnight. At the moment I am thrilled that I have completed two novels in six months and manage to post to this blog on a regular basis. I guess my summit at this stage in my writing career would be to get published and actually get paid.  So I guess you could say I am currently on the face of the mountain, I have some safety ropes, my friends, family and mentors.  I have my tenacity and determination (those who really know me would say these are some of my best qualities) and whether it takes me a few months or a few years to reach my summit I am committed to the climb, one hand hold at a time.

Picture courtesy of public domain picture El capitan in Yosemite by Jon Sullivan

Picture courtesy of public domain picture El capitan in Yosemite by Jon Sullivan

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