My husband had the day off yesterday so we drove up the coast to Pismo Beach for brunch. We walked out on the pier, let the kids play in the sand, then headed home the back way, down Highway 1. As we neared Guadalupe, a road sign caught my attention. It was for Oso Flaco Lake, a place I’d never heard of. We decided to check it out, see what we would find.
The road dead ended in a parking lot. We walked down a gravel path that led to a foot bridge that crossed this 75-acre lake. On the other side of the lake, the boardwalk continued for a mile, over a wetland area into the Oceano Dunes. At the end of the trail, we were staring at the Pacific. The wind was howling in our faces, but staring out at this beautiful, protected expanse of sand and water was totally worth the discomfort.
When we started up the road, my son asked how far it was to the lake. None of us had any idea, but we were so excited by each new part of the trail we encountered, that the distance seemed irrelevant. We were just having fun together discovering a new place. When I came home and found out we’d hiked 2.2 miles, I was surprised because honestly, it didn’t feel that far.
My writing journey has been like this. And I wonder, if I had known ahead of time how far I had to go, how much I had to learn, how much ground I had to cover, would I have been overwhelmed? Would I have given up before I started? Would I have been brave enough to keep going?
I don’t know. Because there are still some days when I feel like giving up. But then I read about a friend’s success after eight years of trying to get published and I see other friends announcing their book deals. And I realize I can’t stop trying. Perseverance is key to success and really, the harder you have to work, the more it means in the end. Right?
No matter how long I’m on this road, I’m going to enjoy the journey. And someday, when I’m staring a book deal in the face, I’ll know. Every part of the journey was totally worth it.