Fear of heights ~ by Maressa Mortimer

This week, we’re at a homeschool camp with the kids. It’s a camp we have been going to for several years, although this year all meetings are outside. As the camp is held in the middle of Wales, that’s made for some interesting experiences. Like the opening meeting in torrential rain.

On Wednesday, the organisers had arranged for a long walk along Ceri Ridge. I don’t particularly like walking, only once I’m back home do I appreciate a good walk. I do enjoy the scenery and the idea of going for a long, healthy walk appeals to me. My children don’t like walking until we’re home at which point they will declare it the best outing ever. So, with some other families, we decided on the Medium Length Walk. It was only seven miles. My kids have never walked seven miles, and according to Strava, it was the longest walk I have recorded as well. It felt like a very long walk.

When we got back, my husband just laughed. He had stayed back with the youngest. They had played golf and had a relaxing day. He thought seven miles was rather mad. It probably was, but you know what? We saw some incredible scenery, had lots of chats, laughed a lot and spent time together. The last bit was a steep climb up, then an even steeper descend. I was so glad I went.

It made me think of some of the things I have been involved in the last year or so. There was an international Writers Summit, where I felt completely out of my depth. I had a fantastic time though, and the other speakers were great as well. I have just handed in two chapters for a fabulous anthology, and I’m literally counting the days till it will be out, as I can’t wait to read the other entries.

I have self-published three books in the last year, and thinking about formatting, fiddling with fonts on covers and triple checking the spelling of the titles still makes me desperate for some calming coffee. It was all a bit mad, and a steep climb, but totally worth it.

It reminded me how much I enjoy a challenge. It’s easy to say no, to do sensible things, like drinking coffee in the sun, reading a book on a comfy sofa. Sometimes it’s good to push yourself and sign up for a mad walk. Climb that hill, jump that stream or slither down that slope. You might feel it ages you every few minutes, but afterwards, you’ll see how wonderful it was. You will be able to look back and see how far you have come already. Enjoy the fellowship and companionship of others along the way. Learn new things, or share bits and pieces of information that you know about. Laugh and groan together.

Writing can be a solitary activity. So is walking. But doing it together is so much better. You can encourage each other, laugh at the climb ahead and moan together when seven miles seems never-ending. Don’t look at the steep hillsides and stay home and don’t let dark clouds put you off. Don’t be afraid of heights or slippery descends. Enjoy the journey, knowing there’ll be times to rest and recover with coffee and cake. The effort will make it all taste better.

So, what challenges are you aiming for this week or this month? Are you part of Camp NaNoWriMo? Editing a manuscript? Trying to concentrate on a special project? Keep going, take smaller steps if it’s a steep road. Enjoy the journey and the view once you’re higher up. And share with us what you’re up to!

Maressa Mortimer is Dutch but lives in the beautiful Cotswolds, England with her husband and four (adopted) children. Maressa is a homeschool mum as well as a pastor’s wife, so her writing has to be done in the evening when peace and quiet descend on the house once more. She loves writing Christian fiction, as it’s a great way to explore faith in daily life.

Her debut novel, Sapphire Beach, was published in December 2019, and her first self published novel, Walled City, came out in December 2020, followed by Viking Ferry, a novella. Beyond the Hills is the second book in the Elabi Chronicles, and was released on June 18th 2021. All of Maressa’s books are available from her website, www.vicarioushome.com, Amazon or local bookshops.


Joy Margetts said…
I know what you mean about facing new challenges - even writing blogs for a writers blog is a challenge I never thought I'd have before now! I am loving the journey too though. A long walk would also be a really big challenge for me at the moment, but I miss it terribly! Thanks Maressa
Ruth Leigh said…
I was there with you, Maressa. Beautifully written. 7 miles eh? That is a challenge!
Peter Leyland said…
I love walking Maressa and often do my thinking for writing projects while doing so. I have taken children walking in the Dales and some years ago I trekked in Ladakh. Luckily I kept a journal and maybe now is the time to share it..Thanks for the post.
Thanks, everyone! Walking is easier when the countryside is stunning. Like writing the right kind of story ...
Wendy H. Jones said…
I love this analogy and it is so right. I particularly like the way you say you can do things together and that makes things easier. That is so true. Helping each other makes all the difference and makes the path, writing or otherwise, easier.

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