Why Writing is Harder Than Alpinism. Have You Defined Your Mt Everest yet?

Why Writing is Harder Than Alpinism. Have You Defined Your Mt Everest yet?

The thrill of alpinism is unparalleled. It’s the adventure of all adventures.

The person undertaking this endeavour is an alpinist whom the dictionary describes as a mountain climber specializing in high, difficult and usually first ascents.

Alpinism challenges your physical and mental limits pushing you to your absolute limit.

On the other hand, a writer has a deceptively simple definition — A person who understands or practices the art of writing.

Alpinism and writing seem like two completely different worlds, but they share more similarities than you might think.

Alpinists often tackle seemingly impossible routes and use as little equipment as possible. Not too different from writers navigating mountains of information to chart a clear path.

Both require a high level of dedication, commitment and a willingness to push yourself when no one but you are doing the pushing. It is easy to give up.

Insurmountable even.

But the alpinist and the writer must persevere in their alpine or mental wildernesses if they are to progress.

Alpinists must train their bodies and minds for months, if not years, to tackle the world’s most challenging peaks. Alpinism isn’t just about climbing mountains. It’s a journey, a process, and about skills you pick up along the way.

Similarly, writers practice their craft, researching ideas until they can temporarily rest their pens and communicate complex ideas clearly and concisely. To be a better version of themselves is also a lengthy process for writers.

Alpinists need to be mentally tough and resilient in the face of adversity, and so do writers. Abandoning an idea is as painful to a writer as turning back before a summit feels to an alpinist.

Writing, like alpinism, can be a very lonely and challenging journey. Keeping a learning mindset and seeking support when required can make the whole effort incredibly rewarding for both professions.

There are a finite number of unclimbed peaks in the world. It takes one determined individual to make the first ascent for the rest to follow the route to the top.

While the climb itself can remain challenging, the path is laid. Every man that climbs makes it easier for the one that follows.

This is where writing departs from its closeness to alpinism as a skill.

Every writer needs to define their ‘Mt Everest’. The writer alone knows the route to the top.

Others can help her, guide her only part of the way. Beyond the base camp is the great unknown, where the writer’s skill is tested. Every unsuccessful summit push widens the gap between the base camp and the summit.

One writer’s Mt Everest is not the same as Mt Everest for another. The summit is a moving target making each climb unique.

As a person who spends more time than is considered sane in the mountains, writing remains the greatest adventure of all. The final frontier. The last remaining wilderness.

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