The Journey or the goal on the North Coast 500?
It was more of a gently workout rather than a struggle to get to the top of Pulpit hill. About half way up you can take a slight detour. A fork in the road if you like. The question is do you really want to take that route or do you dig in and strive forward till you reach your goal? That age old debate, it is the journey or the end result that matters?
As a writer, (yes after years of scribbling away and despite my first book being published in 2009 by Leabhraichean Beaga I am only now finally comfortable admitting to being a writer) seeing the finished product in book format is amazing. The ultimate goal you would think. A necessary outcome in reality if you want to make any sort of living from my kind of writing. The whole process though is a journey of drafting, plotting, developing story lines, mulling through how each character will react, editing, re-editing, rewriting and yes rewriting again. In fact always rewriting in some form or another. The book maybe the goal but the ‘road’ to it is the fulfilling, creative side.
When I am writing for children in Gaelic or even writing for parents and children to enjoy together, I have to put myself in a place where I can imagine how young bairns will react to the story, or whether an adult will be sent mad after reading the same tale so many times it almost hurts. In other words I have to make it entertaining for the child and the child within us all.
My English writing is so different. I find myself actually in Blàs itself. Not that hard really as I already live in the Highlands, in a bonnie wee burgh surrounded by amazing scenery. The characters seem to pour out of me and evolve into believable people at home within themselves and their environment. It is an easy place to disappear to, to lose myself in. Writing about Blàs to me is a form of escapism. Instead of disappearing into the realms of day dreaming that has plagued my life, I can legitimately vanish into a world all of my own making.
Who would have thought all these years ago when teachers called out to me to ‘pay attention’ or ‘waken up’ that my other worldly visiting was just me practising for my future occupation. If only we had all known they could maybe have placed me in a quiet room all of my own, so I could further develop my day dreaming skills! No one would have worried if my B’s and D’s were back to front, upside down or had a line stuck on both sides (lol, had a totally different interpretation for me, it meant I didn’t have to choose between d or b, lol could be either d or b), you know I was just covering all bases there.
Whether I am writing a book, a blog or walking up a hill to me the journey will always be as important as the goal. I do take the time out to breathe in the fresh air, the earth and the stunning colours that surround me. I could not function any other way. I know this is not the same for everyone. Others lean towards an outcome way more than I do. They strive forward motivated by reaching their ultimate goal. There are probably way better than me at marketing too and for them that is the creative and fulfilling part. Partly it is due to these differences in character that help produce so many different styles and stories for the reader.
However, I think most will admit whatever motivates them to write or indeed read, getting to the top of Pulpit Hill is a goal worth reaching. Just look at the photo above. How could you not stand still and take a breath before completing the circle and heading back down the opposite way. Well one reason could be the darken clouds that flew in seconds after I took this shot. Despite that the rain improved the outlook as two rainbows streaked across the sky. The walk up and down may have been incredibly beautiful but in this instance reaching the top, the ultimate goal was definitely worthy of the journey.