Sunday, April 30, 2017

On Walks, Metaphors for Writing, and Mile Markers

on nature walk April, 2017
"When you're writing a book, it's rather like going on a very long walk, across valleys and mountains and things, and you get the first view of what you see and you write it down. Then you walk a bit further, maybe up onto the top of a hill, and you see something else. Then you write that and you go on like that, day after day, getting different views of the same landscape really. The highest mountain on the walk is obviously the end of the book, because it's got to be the best view of all, when everything comes together and you can look back and see that everything you've done all ties up. But it is a very, very long, slow process." --Roald Dahl

A long walk as a metaphor for writing a book? Perfect--especially for a those of us who thrive on walks and writing. Thanks, Mr. Dahl for the analogy.

Blogging is a bit like taking that long walk, too--all those steps (posts), vantage points (exploring so many subjects), rewards (friends and encouragement), and results (accumulated writings you wouldn't have otherwise). And then one day you look back and say: wow, look how far I've walked! 

This just happened to me. I blinked and realized my last post was number 400. How did that mile marker almost slip past? Sure didn't know starting out where this hike would take me :-) 

Any mile markers come along for you recently? What metaphor would you use for writing a book?


  1. The best mile-marker I've heard is that it takes 10,000 hours of writing before you become relatively proficient at it. Of course, that's one person's opinion. I'm pretty sure I'm way past that, and I'm still learning every day.

    My metaphor for writing has always been that it's like taking a trip across the U.S. I know where I'm starting and I know (usually) where I'm going to end up at the end. But there are lots of ways to get from point A to point B. Sometimes I get surprised by the routes I choose to take.

    Congratulations on your 400th post! That's a lot of thought and a lot of writing!

    1. Peggy, 10,000 hours to be proficient? Can't it be easier than that, ha! I do like your metaphor, I see the map in my mind. Yes, there is the destination you're aiming at but look at all the detours and wrong turns that create obstacles to that destination. Love the image. Thanks for sharing :-)

  2. Congrats on your mile-marking 400th post. If you counted the words, I suspect you have written several books in posts alone.

    Oh, I suppose I've had some recent mile markers. My website came up for its annual renewal and this year, I was unwilling to pay the fees. The first year, it's fairly inexpensive. They dramatically jack up the costs in the second year, which I was still willing to pay. The third year, I was too busy with a family crisis, so I let it slide. This year, I decided to back out of it. All costs totaled, it would've been $450 to renew it. I have decided I will never have another website unless I am making a significant amount of money in my writing. So I closed it down and am now back to Blogspot. If you click my picture or my name, it will take you to the new blog. It's set up. I'm still not spending much time there, however I am gearing up for it.

    Other milestones--I am halfway through with writing a new manuscript and on Saturday, I entered the first three chapters (and synopsis) into four contests. Feedback from 12 contest judges will help me see how the story is coming across to people.

    The metaphor I would use for writing a book? Hmm. For me, I suppose it's like having a giant file cabinet full of files that are snippets of ideas for scenes, which need to be arranged, rearranged, expanded, trashed, and so on.

    1. Cathy, sorry to hear about the issues with your website--but I'm heading to your new blog right away! And you inspire me with your milestones. That's a lot of progress on a new mss. Way outpacing anything I've done in the last year :-) Congratulations and best wishes as you enter the contests. And your metaphor is another great image. Sometimes those file cabinets are bulging, aren't they? I think mine is out of control!

  3. Congratulations, that is a wonderful mile marker! This makes me want to take a nice long walk in the woods. :)

    1. Thanks, Karen--and I hope you enjoy that long walk in the woods when you get the chance. Don't be surprised if more writing ideas present themselves while you're out there :-) Have a great rest of the week...