Hawaii Lessons: Dare to Press Forward

One of the cooler, but more difficult things to do on the northern shore of Kauai is the hike to the Hanakapi’ai Falls.  It’s 4 miles one way, and strenuous pretty much the whole time.  But if you want to see these majestic falls (and you do) you just have to suck it up and press forward.

I love hiking, but hiking has never loved me.  If there was ever a better analogy to express me and hikes, it’s the tale of the Tortoise and the Hare—at least that in I’ll make it, whether or not the Hare has been and gone 7 times.

jae tortoise litandscribbles

I also usually end up with blisters on my toes, which make the return hike less than optimal.  Why torture myself like this?  Because seeing this waterfall up close as well as walking a path littered with guavas and bamboo and other great flora is worth it.

It ended up taking 6 hours round trip, and while I did get two nasty blisters on my toes that I had to regularly clean the sand out of during later boogie boarding, I got to swim in this spectacular waterfall!

Hanakapiai Waterfall

It’s likely that for most of us writers the “waterfall” in our journey is success in publishing.  It will be worth it when you reach the waterfall and bask in its refreshing, cool waters, but the journey along the way can suck.  A lot.

There are things we have to do, like learning how to write, researching our project, and often most difficult of all face harsh blister-leaving criticism.  (And no matter how you bandage those blisters, sand will find a way in—guaranteed.)

I guess I find hiking so satisfying despite its extreme difficulty because it’s a game of will.  Sometimes my body wants to quit 5 minutes in because it’s tired, hot, and lazy.  It desperately tries to convince me this hike really isn’t worth it, but I press forward.  And I may not be as speedy as some, but I still make it.  I hope you can all see where I’m going with this.

Reaching our goals isn’t a race, at least it shouldn’t be.  If you truly want to be the best writer you can with stories that inspire people to seek more, then it’s going to take some hard, hot, tiring, blister-gaining work to get there.

There were several times during the hike I wanted to quit, but the call of the waterfall was too great.  And it was certainly worth it.

On the flip side, once I’d arrived I realized all that I’d gone through I had to go through again to reach a new goal.  I think this will be the same process for us in writing.  Even when you get published, the hard work isn’t finished.  If anything, it’s worse.  You’ve got deadlines to meet, expectations to exceed, and even harsher critics to face.

If we are truly going to dare to press forward, we need to see it through to the end, no matter how much it hurts.  Besides, do you really want to miss out on seeing views like this?

Hanakapiai Falls view

What has been the most difficult thing for you in your writer’s journey?  What are you most looking forward to, or what is your waterfall?  What do you do to help you keep pressing forward?

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5 thoughts on “Hawaii Lessons: Dare to Press Forward

  1. The most difficult thing in my journey has been the submission process. It is frustrating not knowing if you did something right, or if everything sucked. A little guidance would be nice.

    What keeps me going? Faith. All the struggles have to be for something. It’s tough when you discover flaws in your writing, and I don’t mean typos. I’m talking about plot holes or flat characters. The things only a major re-write can fix. There always seems to be another challenge.

    Trying to help others keeps me pressing forward. If I can help just one other writer avoid any of the mistakes I made, then it’s all worth it. Meeting wonderful people doesn’t hurt either. 😉

    Love the pics, Jae. I would have stayed as long as possible in that waterfall. Simply beautiful.

  2. Wow, those pictures are beautiful! I would say the hardest part on my writers journey would be bringing myself to query my work. Luckily on Mystic Cooking I have Heidi to suffer with me on any failures and to celebrate any successes, and we both get to keep each other going. 🙂

      • It’s coming along pretty well. We’re so sick of editing the beginning, and re-editing it now. But we’re about to start planning out the sequel.

        How’s Shade coming along? I know you mentioned that you were going to be taking a break from it soon.

      • I’m so close to finishing this major rewrite it’s ridiculous. But before it was more stand-alone, this time I think it may end calling for a sequel (my intention, but I tried to give it enough resolution before to steer away from cliffhanger). I’ll have to send you guys a copy of Chapter One when I’m in polishing phase and see what you think, especially since you were there before the big rewrite.

        By the way, when you do query, you gonna toss your letter at the Query Shark before you do?

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