With Rising Shadows and Winter’s Kiss, I faced the Mountain. The Mountain is a sinister, sentient wall of immovable rock with no footholds to climb it. I’m staring at The Mountain once again with A Scarlet Fury. How do you know if you’ve met The Mountain? It dwells in the place where your brain overloaded with information you need to write into the story, but it’s all out-of-order and jumbled. In the thick of it with Scarlet, I’m jumping around the plot like a jack-rabbit trying to get all the ‘stuff ‘ put somewhere before I forget. Conversations and internal dialogue run rampant in my brain all day, I’m practically chanting them while I track down a piece of paper or computer. I’m sure I look like a lunatic having a two-sided conversation with myself.
Overwhelmed with information, you don’t know how you’ll ever get it all straight and copied down correctly. I try to mind dump it all, but what if I don’t understand what I wrote when I read it later? I can’t just scribble nonsense, I have to be specific. Be specific, but be quick; yeah, no pressure there. Stress, anxiety, and hopelessness are what feed The Mountain. The wind carries a sad tune down from on high to whisper in your ears, “It’s all too much for you to accomplish, turn back.” If you’ve found yourself in the cold shadow of The Mountain, you know a writer’s despair.
Thankfully, I’ve been over to see the other side twice. It’s beautiful. Every writer has to push through extra hard the first time, when your fears are highest. There isn’t a writer alive that didn’t start out as a beginner. The way to beat The Mountain is to climb. No foot holds? Drill them out of the rock yourself. Occasionally you get lucky and find a catapult, but personal experience says it’s slow and steady-going. I still get discouraged and overwhelmed, but I can rejoice in my forward motion to the top. You can’t let The Mountain stop you and you can’t let it scare you, because after a brief moment in the promised land of publishing you have to face another Mountain.
I’ve tried to inject a little humor into this post, because laughter is my immediate go to at all times (This is bad when someone hurts themselves and at funerals. Mr. Blackwood does not approve). In writing, you face obstacles. When you face your own obstacles, the important thing is don’t give up. You might face a short wall or a tall mountain, but in this case there is no such thing as an immovable object. If you get stumped about moving forward, ask for help! Research solutions on Google, write an author, join a writing group, get support. The only 100% guaranteed way to fail, it so quit. Every journey is different, there is no proper path to get it done.