Two days ago I took part in an obstacle course for charity. While raising money and awareness for the organization Autism Awareness I tackled challenge after challenge. I pushed my body further than I have in years and completed tasks that worked not only on my stamina and physical abilities but also taxed me psychologically. I made it across the finish line however and could not be more proud of myself for making it.
So why for this as well as the last post in a writing related blog have I been discussing fitness goals? Why am I saying how excited I am to cross the finish line in a difficult challenge that has nothing to do with writing? It is because I was reminded of a very important fact as I ran the course. It is very difficult and at points can be impossible to get past obstacles in our lives and to be successful on our own.
Having friends that support us is vital to the success of our endeavors. Whether there is someone lacing their fingers for a step up to climb a wall or hands reaching down to help pull you from a long pipe at the end of the line my friends got me across the finish line. I have friends in the writing world that are there for me just as much. They like my author page and share my posts. They encourage me when I get frustrated and push me to carry on.
All they ask in return is that I do the same back. I share posts and comment on their activities. I let them know about events that could be interesting for them. Most of all I do everything I can to participate in their projects as a way of saying thank you for them doing the same for me. It is just like the course as we would reach down to pull others up hills and catch them as they descended over walls. We cheered one another on as we slide through the mud and hauled our tired dirty bodies up cargo nets.
The writing world is exactly the same as what I just went through. It was a fantastic metaphor for the writing life I love so much. Paying it forward and assisting people I have never met before and knowing that a few challenges later they would be there to either pull me up or I would see them catching another new person as we all pushed on toward the goal.
In life we all need that network of support but we have to remember that it is just as important that we are there to support those that help us just as they have taken the time to be there for us.