Anyone who knows me well, knows I love to ski. My gracious husband moved me back to the slopes because of my addiction to it. (Thank you Matt!)
Here is an excerpt from my novel Broken Smiles: “Over time she got used to being on stage; she loved it, then craved it. A rush that few understood. Like a skier staring down a huge mountain, or a sky diver looking out of the plane to the world below. A true unaltered rush. No drugs, no alcohol – just pure blood and adrenaline ran through her veins.”
Sitting upon a ski lift this winter, which carried me up the misty mountains with the anticipation of first tracks, the correlation between skiing and writing came to me. I want to share.
We titer on the edge between having control and losing control. We push ourselves to feel the rush. Skiing has taught me how to enjoy beauty in the bleak, cold winter. Skiers observe the nature around us, we rise above the pollutions of mundane city life to play in the mountains.
Authors dwell in a space between having control and losing control of our writing. We push our voice to either educate, entertain, or inspire. Putting our thoughts onto paper for others to read is both scary and thrilling. Writing has taught me to observe, especially through the pollutions of every day life.
There will always be someone better or worse then you, and just when you are winning a race between your sister, you can skid along an unseen patch of ice and break your collarbone. (really happened!) Or, just when you think your writing is fairly decent, you receive a bad review or round of corrections from your editor to put you in your place. (again, really happened!) The point is, do you strap on your skies the next winter, even though your feet shake in your boots and your palms sweat in your gloves? Do you continue on your story, even though the writers block seems as impenetrable as a thick wall of ice?
In both cases, surround yourself with people who are better then you. Follow them into exciting new terrain, the backcountry. Let people help you with your form. Go to writers conferences, join critique groups. It is okay to fall. That is how you get better.
As a skier, sometimes I fall and sometimes I fly. Either way, it makes me feel alive, just like the process of writing does.