This is going to sound cliché, but hear me out, because I think I’m putting a fresh spin on it.
(takes a deep breath) Pursuing a career as a writer feels like climbing a mountain. Everyone says that, but it’s true.
When I was at the bottom, I pointed to the mountain and told people, “I’m going to climb that.” And of course, everyone was supportive — like, “Yeah, go for it! That’ll be awesome!” But probably a lot of them never thought I would really do it, or they didn’t fully realize what was involved.
(In fairness, I probably didn’t fully realize what was involved either.)
So then I started climbing, and people were like, “Oh shit, she wasn’t kidding.” They weren’t sure what to think, but they cheered anyway.
Now I’m like halfway up, and they’re still standing down there, wanting to support me, but they’re also looking up at me, then looking at the top of the mountain and thinking, “That’s a long way left to go. She’s never gonna make it.” They’re beginning to doubt, and I can’t blame them, because sometimes it feels that way to me too.
But of course, I’m not gonna stop, because I made it this far, and I know I can go the rest of the way, it’s just a matter of patience and perseverance.
(nodding) Sure, that all sounds about right.
Good. Because that’s significant to me. Realizing that it looks unlikely to some people, even ones who love me. But that doesn’t mean anything. I’m still climbing. And after I get to the top of this mountain, there will be another one, and another, and another. Because I’m a climber.
But there’s more!
Oh. (confused) Okay…
See, there’s another part that of the metaphor that usually doesn’t get talked about.
You never signed up for this. And yet, you’re going up the mountain too. Because I’m pulling you with me, you know? You’re like on a sled that’s tied around my waist, so you’re stuck on the climb, but there’s nothing you can do to get us up any faster.* That’s gotta be so frustrating.
Yep. (happy to have his perspective included) It’s cold. It’s kind of boring. And I can’t feel my toes!
(laughing) Well, it’s no cakewalk for me either.
*Note: This applies to my parents too.