The Road Goes Ever On

An inspiration piece – with thanks to J.R.R. Tolkien for the title 

Horton Scar Lane by David Sykes
Some years ago, I volunteered to walk the Three Peaks for charity (24.5miles and three mountains in twelve hours). When the day came, we all set off with enthusiasm over the sheep-cropped turf of Ribblesdale. Lots of collective jollity got us through the first stretch over Pen-y-Ghent.

Then came Whernside. Following the routes of those before you was a great help – but when the peat bogs spread out in brown squelching patches, you had to find your own way. Walking side-by-side was not possible.

Sometimes I found inspiration in the hardships of the navvies who built the Ribblehead Viaduct. Other times, only stern self-talk kept me going. There were moments when other walkers’ relentless cheerfulness just plain annoyed me.

The last peak was the killer – Ingleborough. I desperately sought out Pennine features I loved to get through the endless slog. But even Primula Farinosa and clints-and-grykes can lose their charms when your boots rub on blisters.

The last ascent is a deceptive beggar – you think you’ve got to the top, push yourself up a mother of a slope – and find there’s another incline to go. And another . And another. Till you get there.

So you pop a bit of scree on the cairn at the top, celebrate – and realise another ‘there’ is ahead of you.

Pen-y-ghent Cafe (Creative Commons)

And that feeling, I am sure is familiar to all creative people – writers, illustrators and many others. There is always more to learn, other fells to scramble up. We are always ‘nearly there’. I hope that thought fills you with joy – and commitment.

A suggestion for you. 

Take a breather. Look back over the moorland to rejoice in what you’ve done so far. Listen to the curlews.

Now list ten milestones that are nothing to do with getting published.
Ascent to Whernside (John Lucas) / CC BY-SA 2.0

[Thanks to Writer Unboxed for this task– do read the rest of the post.]

By Philippa R Francis, who writes as K. M. Lockwood- and is still tramping.

K. M. Lockwood is a writing name of Philippa R. Francis. As well as being a regular contributor, Philippa (@lockwoodwriter) is also part of the Words & Pictures team as the @Words8Pictures Tweetmaster, growing our following and maintaining our 'Industry news' feed.

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