Yup, it's still winter in the Northern Hemisphere and here in the Pacific NW, we still have plenty of snow on the mountains. But I will rewind a bit.
Let me take you back 8 years when a young 25 year old single female moved to Portland, Oregon so she could go skiing in the winter and hiking/backpacking in the summer while enjoying the benefits of a big city such as shopping and fine dinning. Oh and to be closer to her rapidly-approaching-retirement parents too. Within the first three months of her new life in the coolest city in the US, she met a certain handsome stocky fellow who loved to hike/backpack, read speculative fiction, and SKIED.
He took her skiing a couple of times up on the iconic fixture of Portland (when it's not cloudy) Mt Hood. Long rides on the chairlifts coupled with the four hour round trip car ride, led to interesting conversations and other things. Okay, you all know where I'm going with this.
A year and a half later, the young girl had a ring on her finger and a new last name. And while their happily ever after still continues one thing died after the wedding: the skiing. The one thing that had brought them together they stopped doing. Oh, he continued to ski, but she stopped for various reasons. Sometimes it was finances (skiing is an expensive sport). She then missed two years, because of a broken toe and the thought of cramming her foot into a ski boat set her teeth on edge. And then laziness set in. After a while of not skiing, one starts to question their skill and fitness level.
Well, Thursday on the anniversary of their first date, the man took his wife down to REI and bought her:
Boots, Skies, & Bindings
Sexy wool socks
And Helmet & Goggles
|Mt Hood Meadows|
Friday, he dragged her butt up to the mountain and she skied for the first time in SEVEN YEARS! Boy, did she have fun. The best part about the day is she got done and realized her knees didn't hurt. Having skied her entire life on crappy rentals, she felt like a champion getting her groove back on after a long sabbatical. Having the right gear makes a world of difference.
I guess you can compare this with writing. You can spend years trying to emulate another author's techniques or "rent" ideas, but until you own your personal style, it will never seem right. Once you figure out YOUR voice, YOUR expression, YOUR story, your writing "knees" will stop aching because your feet will be in YOUR shoes. Not in someone else's. Sure you'll be sore, but the good kind.
See writing lessons can be learned in every situation, even in skiing. My advice: get your own writing "boots"!
PS. Did you notice The Marked launch countdown widget? I will be part of Inara Scott's Blog tour in April. So excited!!!! Check out the short post I did a year ago on The Candidates (book 1).