One More Step


“If I take one more step, it’ll be the farthest away from home I’ve ever been.”—Samwise Gamgee.

Sam’s words from The Fellowship of the Ring perfectly describe the stage of writing I’m in now. Actually, every step I’ve taken since the beginning of this month when I finished my first draft has been one more step. It’s an exciting place to be in and a terrifying one. It’s an adventure into uncharted territory.

Like Sam, I’m setting out on a journey. Will there be orcs ahead? Probably. Will I long for the comforts of home? Yes. Might I even miss a second breakfast or two? I shudder at the thought and reach into my pocket to grab a handkerchief that isn’t there. Never mind, hobbit’s luck.

I’m the sort of person who loves to have a plan. I even bought another planner yesterday. Turns out there’s not much of a market for planners in August, go figure. Sometimes the thought of not having a precise plan for the future really bothers me. I want to know for sure what my writing path and path for life in general will look like.

I wonder what Sam would have done if he’d been given a road map to his future travels. Would he have taken one look and hightailed it back to his comfortable home on Bagshot Row? If I had a road map to my future travels, what would I do?

It’s probably a good thing I don’t. The path doesn’t have to be easy but it’s the path I’ve been called to take. Someday, like Sam, I hope to return home after fulfilling what I set out to do and say, “Well, I’m back.”

Have you taken that one step or have you already been traveling for a while?

About Britta Valentine

saved by grace, writer of young adult fiction, and drinker of copious amounts of coffee

8 comments on “One More Step

  1. I feel more like Gandalf than Samwise. I’ve been on the road for a while and been a catalyst for pushing people along on theirs. I’ve faced a Balrog or two and spent my time in dungeons along the way. And what do I have to show for it? White hair, tattered robes… and wisdom. And friends in high places.

    Well, that counts for something, but I have to keep reminding myself not to play mentor and to keep moving forward on my own quest. Lest I come to the end of the race and realize I never did what I was called to do.

    That’s not to say I’ll stop being a mentor… it’s part of my gifting, too. I just need to make sure I do both.

    • I know I’m really grateful for the Gandalfs who have come into my life! I do understand wanting to continue on your own journey though.

      • Yeah, it sounds incredibly ungracious to dis the life of Gandalf, doesn’t it? I don’t meant to sound ungrateful, that’s not it… But there’s a subtle form of fear and procrastination that masquerades as nobly helping others, and that’s what I’ve been fighting to break free of.

        I’ll never stop cheerleading others along, but I’ve stopped letting it be an excuse not to do my own art. 🙂

        • Not at all! I studied writing for almost four years through the Christian Writers Guild. I’m grateful for the time I spent there but I do realize now that I, at times, used it as an excuse not to continue writing. It’s kind of a dual thing, isn’t it?

  2. *sighs* Well, I started fourteen years ago, but it’s been a really windy, twisty kind of journey. Sometimes it feels more like the endless stairs from an Escher picture than any kind of linear journey! But I just try to keep patient and keep learning, and make sure I pass along what I’ve learned to others. So that maybe they don’t have to climb as many stairs!

  3. Love this. I can definitely relate. It reminds me of a post I did on my blog about how my writing journey feels like Frodo’s quest. Great minds think alike. 🙂

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