The hike was long and we forgot to bring water, and if it weren't for Nick I doubt I would've completed it on my own. He pushed me to keep going. Building off my tenuous writing metaphor, Nick is like my critique partners and writing friends. They encourage you to continue writing, no matter how down you might feel, and they push you to make your story even better. In the end, Nick and I reached the top of the mountain and tasted sweet victory:
Writing a book is like climbing a mountain. It's hard, it hurts, and it's all uphill, but when you reach the top there's no better feeling in the world. There will be people who encourage you, and people who tell you to give up. My advice for today is to use both of these to your advantage. When someone doubts your ability to complete a book or get published, allow their skepticism to motivate you. Prove them wrong. And when someone comforts or encourages you, recognize how lucky you are to have writer friends who understand, then use that friendship as a stable foundation for your writing life.