By Tina Yeager
A fellow writer recently asked about my mountain climbing. Another Tina Yeager conquered Mount Everest.
With a flap of my sagging triceps, I laughed. “See? Not the mountain climber.”
My hiking achievements consist of driving to tourist stops within fifteen-minutes’ walk to the altitude sign. Sensitivity to slight chills would exclude me from Himalayan camping.
I later realized how untrue my words had been. Not just for me, but all writers.
Authors face a Himalayan task. We begin at a heart-freezing base camp, far from our comfort zones. Impossible odds loom. Our legs buckle on this quest to share soul-treasures. Each step exposes us to brutal elements of rejection and failure.
The emotional nature of writing leaves us raw. In our vulnerability, discouragement can defeat us. Yet we can equip ourselves to overcome the impossible and pursue our dreams.
With proper tools, even a wimpy writer like me can conquer this epic mountain and fulfill her powerful identity. For creative survival, I must include self-care, climbing gear, and a team.
To thrive as mountain-conquering writers, we must outfit our minds, bodies, and souls. The brain and body require rest, so let’s not hurry our demise by insisting we’ll “sleep when we’re dead.” Creativity also feeds upon proper hydration, omega-rich foods, and refreshment from reading other’s word-craft. We bless our art with daydreams and play, taking breaks to sharpen our tools when needed.
My headlamp and ropes have often saved me from tumbling off this mountain. I need the light of purpose to shine into the dark spaces of my journey. Mindfulness of my “why” encourages me to persevere through murky, oppressive moments. The view serves as a powerful anchor on this treacherous climb. Those in the valley need the hope of my words. And those in base camp need me to rise high enough for my motivation to provide leverage for their dreams.
I’ve also relied upon Sherpa-authors who’ve set ropes to pull me upward or keep me from slipping. Healthy community with encouraging fellow writers has proven vital. We cheer one another on when hope would otherwise crumble. When one of us succeeds, we all gain footing toward higher ground.
In the shadow of this ominous peak, our bones plead to give up. We could hole up in a cave on the side of this cliff and refuse to complete the climb. If our lives were the only ones depending upon the journey, perseverance wouldn’t be worth the trouble. But there are others beside us and further down the slope who need our voices, our continued pull on the ropes, and our willingness to keep climbing. Their journey depends upon our next steps. For love of these partners and upcoming authors, we can move onward in spite of the temptation to quit.
We writers are true mountain climbers. If we take up our tools to overcome discouragement, our hard-won story journeys will inspire generations to fulfill their dreams.
An award-winning author, inspirational speaker, and life coach, Tina Yeager also hosts the Flourish-Meant podcast and publishes Inkspirations Online, a weekly devotional for writers. She has won thirty writing awards, including 2013 FCWC Writer of the Year, and mentors four chapters of Word Weavers International. Her fiction and nonfiction strives to clarify how we might relate better to others, to ourselves, and to God. Licensed as a counselor since 2005, she has over twenty years of experience teaching adults, teens, and children in academic, clinical, and faith-based settings. Tina enjoys working with diverse populations and has practiced in community mental health settings and private practice since 2000. She specializes in ADHD, stress management, abuse recovery, and esteem-building, and currently runs an online life coaching practice, Divine Encouragement, LLC. Yeager is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors and holds a BA in creative writing and an MA in counseling. Yeager is a member of the Serious Writer team, which hosts nationwide conferences and boot camps. Her Psyched Characters and Kindle your Creative Spark courses are available online at the Serious Writer Academy. Come visit her for a virtual cup of java online. For life coaching tips or to book her as an event speaker, check out tinayeager.com. Beautiful Warrior: Finding Victory over the Lies Formed Against You helps women identify and fulfill their potential as they discover Christ-centered significance. Available for order now, Beautiful Warrior is offered by New Hope Publishers (https://www.newhopepublishers.com/shop/beautiful-warrior/). Tina adores embracing new friends, so feel free to offer hugs to her avatars at Facebook https://www.facebook.com/tina.yeager.9, Twitter https://twitter.com/tyeagerwrites, Instagram tina.yeager.9, Goodreads, and Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/tyeagerwrites.