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©2020 BY R. K. MAYER

  • R. K. Mayer

On Mountain Climbing, Bears, Sir Edmund Hillary and Writing


I have this song in my head. It's one of those songs that you don't really want stuck in a loop. It goes like this:

The bear went over the mountain,

The bear went over the mountain,

The bear went over the mountain,

To see what he could see.

And all that he could see,

And all that he could see,

Was the other side of the mountain,

The other side of the mountain,

The other side of the mountain,

Was all that he could see.

I would acknowledge the source if I could, but that remains a mystery to this day. I am not sure how the song got in my head, but I think I know why it is stuck in there. A few months ago I took an executive decision: I was going to focus on finishing the novels that I was working on, and then I was going to take a break, take a deep breath, and focus on business related aspects: marketing, distribution, promotion. And I wouldn't, I swear I wouldn't write another word. (Blogging doesn't count). I would use the time to put on other hats and work on the other things that I do – change management consultancy, lecturing, developing my 'brand'. But I wouldn't, I definitely wouldn't, I absolutely wouldn't begin to write another novel.

Thing is. I really want to. This bear wants to climb the mountain again. She wants to see what she can see. She wants to reach that summit, look out over the horizon, and know that she has done it again. Even with the understanding that what's on the other side is 'just' another mountain. That's life! Isn't it great to internalise that mountains are not insurmountable?

So here I am fighting the refrain in my head, and wondering whether I should break my vow of abstinence and get right back on the trail. Incidentally, on this day in history, in 1953, is also the day that the British Expedition, including Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the summit of Mount Everest. While it is true that Hillary never attempted to reach that particular summit again, he did continue to climb, navigate and conquer other heights and other expeditions.

So maybe writing is not a groundhog day curse: maybe it is the challenge, the drive, the passion that writers need to embrace and embody in order to do what we do. Not every completed manuscript will be an Everest, but every mountain that is scaled will be an accomplishment, a feat and a trigger to get ready for the next trek.


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