Gone Skiing

I’m taking the day off for some good old fashioned Rocky Mountain skiing. Ever notice how it’s sometimes so much work to have fun? Sheesh, just getting the gear together, including enough clothing to keep us warm in single-digit temps, can be enough to scare us off sometimes. Then there’s the 2-hour drive. The expensive lift tickets, not to mention the expensive food. The effort of strapping on those big, stiff boots. And did I mention the cold?

I always have a couple of moments when I ask myself, is this really worth it?

Ah, but then I’m on the lift experiencing the surreal quiet and beauty of a snow-covered forest…

I’m watching my kids as they confidently navigate tougher and tougher runs, smiling all the way…

I’m swooshing down the mountain, looking at the unbelievable view, and U2’s “Beautiful Day” comes on in my awesome in-helmet sound system…

And I know it’s totally worth it. The effort, the discomfort, the hassle, the money. All of it.

As a writer… do you ever wonder if it’s all worth it?

Β© 2011 Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent

Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Gardner Literary. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!


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  6. Renee Gold on February 10, 2011 at 11:28 PM

    >Your girls are precious! Glad you took time out to enjoy. We have to create some balance to all our hard work. Writing, blogging, agenting, and publishing can be intense. I didn't even mention parenting!!! Your pictures answered the question….YES.

  7. Sharon A. Lavy on February 7, 2011 at 8:16 PM

    >I hope you had a wonderful time and no broken bones.

  8. Susan on February 7, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    >Take it from me, it's worth it! You can't put a price on something that's priceless. You're creating a memory and the memory will last a lifetime.

    I too have two daughters and one son. All are now adults. Trust me; time passes fast. In a few short years your two daughters will venture out in the world in order to continue their education and paths in life.

    The efforts you make now when you take precious time out of your schedules to create special memories will be the times all of you will be able to look back on later in life.

    As we all know, nothing worth while comes easily in life. In most cases, it takes a great deal of effort and time to create something special and long lasting.

    All of you will now be able to reflect, any time you choose, on the special day you described. I can almost guarantee you won't remember the time, effort and costs involved.

    All that will remain is a priceless memory…

    This the same way I feel about my writing. It will be worth the effort.

  9. Rachelle on February 6, 2011 at 11:08 AM

    >Katy – That's not me in the picture, those are my two daughters! But yes, she is as tall as me now. I knew the day would come but it still feels weird.

  10. Carol J. Garvin on February 5, 2011 at 9:28 PM

    >I don't ski but I go through that same angst every time I begin the preparations for any holiday trip. Everything seems to take so much effort. Sometimes I'd be just as happy to stay home, but once I'm finally away I always have a good time.

    Writing is a different story. It's my escape and I never think of it as effort, even when I'm struggling with revisions.

    Hope your weekend is wonderful.

  11. friendtoyourself.com on February 5, 2011 at 7:42 PM

    >I love this connection

  12. Shelly Goodman Wright on February 5, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    >Asking if all the effort that goes into writing is worth it, is the same as asking if I'm worth the effort. I may not have believe it a few years ago.
    My dream is like every other writer–publication. The more I write, the more I read, the more I fine tune the craft; it becomes a part of my soul and who I am.
    Oh and I'm jealous too (skiing). Here I live in the springs and I barely even go. I guess I'm afraid my kids will tumble down the mountain. πŸ™‚

  13. Tamika: on February 5, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    >Every time I sit to write I wonder if its worth it, then the words come and I know it is. Writing is my mountaintop:)
    Have a blast!

  14. Henya on February 5, 2011 at 9:20 AM

    >Good question. I don't know the answer. But what I do know is that I give up a lot of fun stuff for the sake of writing that one more page…and for the sake of not having to deal with guilt for thaking time away from writing.
    Glad you enjoyed your fun time in the snow.

  15. kangaroobee on February 5, 2011 at 6:00 AM

    >Maybe I would have been better off staying in New Zealand, kiwis also make such a lot of effort for a good time. My neighbour in NZ once took five kids, youngest two on 4 hr drive to go skiing for 2 days. Can you imagine all those skiis to put on? Next time I feel gripey I'm going to think of her.

  16. kangaroobee on February 5, 2011 at 6:00 AM

    >Maybe I would have been better off staying in New Zealand, kiwis also make such a lot of effort for a good time. My neighbour in NZ once took five kids, youngest two on 4 hr drive to go skiing for 2 days. Can you imagine all those skiis to put on? Next time I feel gripey I'm going to think of her.

  17. Alicia on February 4, 2011 at 11:41 PM

    >Is is worth it? Yes! When my brand-new-shiny MS is done and has yet to be torn apart by fellow writers and agents…that's when its worth it. That feeling of accomplishment is just awesome–almost as good as floating down the fresh fallen powder on my board.

    It's funny you posted this, because I consider snowboarding my escape. When rejections and my never-to-be-published MS have got me down, I turn to the mountain and my board. That's where I can breath.

  18. Dee Bright on February 4, 2011 at 11:07 PM

    >Is it worth it? Yes… and no. Yes, when I keep my eyes on the reason I write. No, when I get caught up in the tyranny of worrying about publication, popularity, and book sales. I feel God has called me to write–and to speak. So, I'll keep on writing and speaking as long as He plants ideas in my mind and gives me oppotunities. If it's for me and my own growth & development, great. If it's for others, even better! I'm honored when He allows me to participate!

    Have fun skiing. I'm heading up to NorthStar at Lake Tahoe on Sunday to join my daughter and her family. I'm hoping to take the 2 1/2 year old snow shoeing! In three weeks I get a new knee, so maybe I'll be back on the slopes next year!

  19. SariBelle on February 4, 2011 at 6:07 PM

    >I am SOOO JEALOUS! I want to be skiing…

    That is all.

  20. lauren on February 4, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    >Theoretically writing always feels too hard, and some days I can scarcely envision my next move. But I can't seem to stay away. The unfinished projects are calling. I love the skiing analogy because you're right, it seems that everything wonderful in life is inconvenient and time consuming. And worth it.

  21. Anonymous on February 4, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    >As a professional writer for more than 20 years, I can say writing is not "fun," it's hard work. What's the secret to making it fun?

  22. Michelle DeRusha@Graceful on February 4, 2011 at 11:31 AM

    >Oh Nebraska living… where the tallest hill is the snow mound at the end of my driveway…

    Your description makes me green with envy! Have fun!

  23. Valerie on February 4, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    >Having one of those "is it worth it?" segments in my life, and it's awful. When I'm writing, I'm in heaven. The problems around me are at a distance–I am sympathetic but not empathetic because they're not actually touching me.

    And then there are the times when I'm not-writing. It's like a minor virus. You're not sick in bed, but you're not quite right. Nothing is right. These times happen when I falter, when I get a rejection or critique that seems to come out of left field. Yes, I can take constructive criticism–but once in a while life seems to gang up. The rejection, the illness, the family crisis, the unexpected financial problem. And then I falter, and think I should give up and get a job that pays. But I know I'll be miserable, so I try again. And it will be worth it.

  24. Cindy R. Wilson on February 4, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    >Wait–there's a sound system in your helmet? That's so cool! You really do learn something new everyday πŸ™‚ I might just have to try skiing someday now–lived in CO my whole life and haven't tried it yet.

    As far as writing…sure, I have those days. But mostly it's hard to even formulate the entire thought before I'm already assuring myself it's definitely worth it. Have a great time!

  25. Sean on February 4, 2011 at 10:32 AM

    >Snowboarding and writing are always worth it. Never a doubt. Especially if you can do both in the Rockies. Have a great time!

  26. Margo Kelly on February 4, 2011 at 10:13 AM

    >Snow covered trees. Thick snowflakes. Totally worth it. Writing evokes the same feeling within me.

  27. Beth on February 4, 2011 at 10:07 AM

    >Skiing is a lot of work, especially if you're not used to the elevation. But it is fun.

    Yes, sometimes I wonder if it's worth it, but only when I'm working on my middle grade novel. The picture books are lots of work, but that's just the way my brain works, so I enjoy them more.

  28. Terri Tiffany on February 4, 2011 at 10:01 AM

    >Enjoy your time away:)) I only skiied once in Vermont as a freshman in colllege and paid for it dearly:)
    Yes, there are moments I wonder why write. But haven't figured out how to stop yet.

  29. Linda Jackson on February 4, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    >As a writer… do you ever wonder if it's all worth it? Yes. Every day.

  30. Alyson Greene on February 4, 2011 at 9:43 AM

    >This is a great analogy!

    I love to both ski and scuba dive. Both sports are very gear intensive and require travel and preparation. but both sports have the same saying: There's no such thing as a bad dive. There's no such thing as a bad day on the slopes.

    Just like with writing, all the classes, the learning, the preparation, the risks, and the blunders are all worth it for those moments when you're doing something you love, getting better and better at it, and lost in your own world.

  31. A.C. Townsend on February 4, 2011 at 9:24 AM

    >Writing is worth every minute invested in pouring the words out of me and onto the page. Writing is what I do; the love of my life (next to my husband); my heart's desire.

    I borrow a stanza from Pink Floyd's "Learning To Fly" to describe my writing experience: There's no sensation to compare to this; suspended animation, a state of bliss.

    Have a beautiful weekend in the mountains! ~ Angela

  32. Sue Harrison on February 4, 2011 at 9:12 AM

    >Many joyous memories for you and your family!!

  33. Choices on February 4, 2011 at 9:00 AM

    >Ah! The beauty of the Rocky Mountains. The high that you get as you glide down that mountain and see the wonders around you. Is it all worth it? You Bet!

  34. Florence on February 4, 2011 at 8:59 AM

    >Again today I am reminded, you are indeed the poet inside the agent πŸ™‚

    It is worth … the long hours with no guarantee of outcome … the worry and the doubt … and at last the payoff … that one moment when you are inside the magic.

  35. watching the game on February 4, 2011 at 8:57 AM

    >y.e.s. it's so important to step away as you've done today. awesome photo!

  36. Sarah Thomas on February 4, 2011 at 8:49 AM

    >Yes I wonder and yes it's worth it. I'm pretty good at procrastinating, but then when I finally sit down to write and really get in the flow it's so satisfying I wonder why I don't write every waking moment.

    Enjoy your day in the snow!

  37. Wendy Paine Miller on February 4, 2011 at 7:40 AM


    Make memories!

    ~ Wendy

  38. Andrea Mack on February 4, 2011 at 7:17 AM

    >Do I ever wonder if all the writing is worth it? Pretty much every day (ha!). But then if I don't do it, it just calls me back, because my mind keeps working on the challenge of the story.

  39. Joy Nicholas on February 4, 2011 at 7:14 AM

    >Yes, definitely! Last fall, I feel like I shut out so much from my life just to finish my manuscript. It was great to know that I'd finished writing it, but when I realized how hard it would be to get it published or how much work I still needed to do with building a platform and so on, I felt incredibly discouraged. I think, though, that the process has taught me to have perspective when it comes to my writing vs. my life and how to prioritize. I love writing, and I do hope that someday my memoir gets published, but NOTHING comes before my family, and I also need to remember to be there for my friends.

    Have fun skiing!!! I'm jealous!! πŸ™‚

  40. Lisa Jordan on February 4, 2011 at 7:08 AM

    >I've never gone downhill skiing, but with anything you enjoy, the prep is very worth it. Enjoy your day on the slopes!

    Is writing worth it–the rejection, the waiting, the wondering?? Oh, yeah! Big time worth it. All that hard work eventually pays off. πŸ™‚

  41. Laura Pauling on February 4, 2011 at 6:59 AM

    >Skiing is worth it. I think it will be a bit more fun when I'm not carrying all my kids skis and stuck on the beginner slopes with them. πŸ™‚ And I don't think any of us would be writing if we didn't think it was worth it.

  42. Catherine West on February 4, 2011 at 6:56 AM

    >I think all writers wonder that at some point. But it is the love of the craft that keeps us going. I am not a skier. The thought of getting on and off a lift terrifies me, and having to navigate my way down an enormous hill on two thin pieces of wood or whatever they're made of now just about blows my mind. I think writing is similar. Just as you take a chance every time you get on the lift, that you're going to come down that hill all in one piece, so do we when we sit down to write that next chapter, or polish a manuscript and submit it. We have to believe that somebody somewhere out there will resonate with our words. And yes, sometimes we fall. And it hurts. But, like a good run, the finished product of what we worked so hard for, is well worth it.
    Enjoy the slopes and I shall enjoy the sound of my fingers flying across the keys of my laptop! May we both find success and pleasure in the moment.

  43. Brian Miller on February 4, 2011 at 6:56 AM

    >nice. have a fun skiing today…sure sounds worth it…smiles.

  44. kateve1027 on February 4, 2011 at 6:53 AM

    >While I'm putting on all my snowboarding gear I ask myself the same thing. This year I'm not able to go I had two knee surgeries, I miss snowboarding a great deal. I use to go outside when there getting ready to close the lifts and the snow machines are shooting snow out down the mountain. It was amazing! So now I spend my time reading and writing for hours. It's all worth it!

  45. Julie Jarnagin on February 4, 2011 at 6:26 AM

    >When my alarm goes off at 5am and it's time to get up and write, I wonder what in the world I'm doing. After a cup of coffee, it's worth it. πŸ™‚

  46. Katie Ganshert on February 4, 2011 at 6:09 AM

    >Yes! I've wondered that. And yes! It's worth it. πŸ™‚

  47. Katy McKenna on February 4, 2011 at 4:34 AM

    >Your DD is almost as tall as you are, and THAT'S saying something. What a great pic!!

    I always ask myself if vacations are worth everything we have to do to prep to go, and the work it takes to get back in the swing of things when we get home. (The only time we EVER have to "unpack" more is when we're at church, haha.) But it's always worth it in the end.

    Writing is always worth it, too, for me. A single appreciative comment about something I've written can keep me going happily for a while, no matter how difficult the going might be. I do have some things in my life right now that aren't worth it, though. Some of those are getting deleted, so that I have energy for the struggles that produce the results I'd like to see.

    Have a great time with your family, Rachelle!

  48. Rosemary Gemmell on February 4, 2011 at 4:23 AM

    >Absolutely! And the toughest challenges are probably the most satisfying when accomplished. Have a wonderful time. Cute photo.

  49. Kate Larkindale on February 4, 2011 at 3:45 AM

    >Ahhh…Skiing. I love it, but haven't been in over 10 years. If I go again, my skis will look like antiques!

    Enjoy it! I'm jealous you have skiing so close to home.

  50. Cheryl Barker on February 4, 2011 at 12:38 AM

    >I absolutely wonder at times if it's worth it. But then I see something I've written in print or I hear a comment about how a piece of mine has ministered to someone, and then yes, it's all worth it…

  51. T. Anne on February 4, 2011 at 12:33 AM

    >I can relate as a writer and a skier. Have a blast. I’m glad to hear you wear a helmet. I do too. I’ll be hitting the slopes again in a week and I can’t wait!

  52. Marla Taviano on February 4, 2011 at 12:21 AM

    >Yes. Absolutely worth it. I hope time stands still for you this weekend. Enjoy your beautiful family!

  53. Kim Kasch on February 4, 2011 at 12:18 AM

    >I love the silence in the snow and the whoosh of the water – both when I ski πŸ™‚ Hope you have a great time.