Word count: 286                    Reading time: 1-2 mins.

This past week we took a brief road trip to the Shuswap and Okanagan areas of BC to visit friends. We drove there on the old roads, the roads that have since been superseded by more direct routes forged by superior engineering. On the way home we switched to the Trans-Canada Highway, Route One, that winds along the Fraser Canyon. The often harsh landscape and the wild waters of the Fraser River reminded me, once again, of the determination of early explorers as they mapped the New World. I tried to imagine the perseverance those men mustered everyday as they woke to face new challenges, be it lack of food, inclement weather, hostile environments or (rightly) suspicious indigenous people.

That got me thinking, yet again, about perseverance as a writer. How hard should it be to keep at this endeavour, even in the face of chaos in the publishing world? Randy Pausch had it right in his Last Lecture at Carnegie Mellon University when he said, “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.” (By the way if you have an hour to spare and need some inspiration, this lecture is worth watching.)

So where are you with your writing? Are you at the top of the canyon frozen with inaction as the white water churns below and the storm clouds gather above? Or are you heeding the words of Randy Pausch, determined to scale that brick wall?



Photo by: Timothy Epp