In recent years, had the chance to work with over one hundred people on various aspects of their writing. Blogs through to book length works. Business to self help to other help to memoir. Through companies like Scribe Media and as well as independent relationships.
During that time learned much about finding the idea, developing it, revising, editing, marketing, publishing. About asking questions. Listening actively. Making corrections where needed. Sometimes letting certain things go in service of the author. Learned from top editors and writers overseeing the work. Meanwhile stumbled and stood back up many times in the journey to realize how best to be of service to another and their work.
It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door.
At the base of the mountain the trail is sunny, inviting. Deep in revisions, having scaled ridge after ridge, cold wind in the face, tired legs underneath, things are far from pleasurable. But in between gusts and when a pause in step is taken, the mountaintop may be glimpsed—a reminder of why this route was taken in the first place.
What Bilbo says to Frodo in The Lord of the Rings is true—it's a perilous thing to step out into the world for a bit of exploring. Even more so to travel into the unknown of one's own inner landscapes. But that's where what you need is often hidden, and where can be found the light the world needs you to share.
No one is the same after any amount of writing, which if done well is really about traversing treacherous landscapes within.
Which is why I'm humbled to go along on such journeys with friends and strangers alike. Every Frodo needs a Samwise.
FRODO: What are we holding on to, Sam?
SAM: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it's worth fighting for.