• Jennifer Jenkins

Sedona- One Step at a Time

Updated: Dec 7, 2021


Sedona is one of the most incredible locales in the American Southwest. I had the good fortune of tackling some of these trails with a few friends who take endurance activities to the next level. Most of my time on these types of trips is spent trying to keep up with the incredible pace and mileage they crave.

In Sedona, our adventures centered around avoiding the heat of the day. We would wake up early to do a long mountain bike ride, come back to our condo for lunch and some time by the pool, and then to go out again for a strenuous hike in the evening. It was such an exquisitely exhausting trip, but when you're in a place as beautiful as Sedona for only three days, you have to hustle to see even a fraction of what this gorgeous desert steppe has to offer.

(Trails featured in these pictures include: Bear Mountain, Long Canyon, and Soldiers Pass)

On our last evening, after logging an insane number of miles, we capped off the trip with a sunset hike straight up Cathedral Rock. During that quad burnout, I ended up needing to stretch my fatigued, cramping muscles, and convinced my group to continue on without me for a spell.

[Sidenote: I promise I knew I was in Arizona and not California... Just further testament to my perpetual exhaustion on this trip.]


Because there are several ways to get to the top, we ended up taking different trails, and I summitted on the side opposite my friends. I loved the solitude of sitting on that rock high above Sedona and couldn't help comparing that hike to my own writing journey.


I've belonged to a few different writing groups over the years, writing alongside the published and unpublished, the plotter and the pantser, the speed drafter and the slow and steady creator. It can be incredibly easy to compare one's journey in writing to that of one's neighbor. I've experienced first hand how demoralizing it is to see someone draft a full novel in the time it takes me to write twenty pages. I've worked alongside authors who have published instant bestsellers and others who have sold film/TV rights. I celebrate these victories with my friends! I happy-dance at their successes! But sometimes, in my weaker moments, I sometimes feel like a runner who is constantly being lapped on a track.


And I know I'm not the only one who feels this way...

My message to the writer who doesn't see instant success and who struggles for every page is this: Little by little, one can cross a great distance.

The key is to keep climbing your mountain. Keep adding words to that page. Keep showing up for your story. Naeem Callaway said, "Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip toe if you must, but take the step."


Here's to tip toeing in the right direction and enjoying the view along the way!

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