Tuesday, July 14, 2020


I'm sharing a piece I wrote earlier this year. 


Post by Doris McCraw
writing as Angela Raines

Trying to get through the clutter in my mind.
Photo property of the author
I pondered what I would write about this month. The world has taken on a new aspect which begs the question, do I write about pandemics in the past? In truth, I would rather not focus on the negative, there is enough of that already.

For me, the best part of this time is having the ability to go for long walks/hikes. Before I started working at home, I found it hard to get out and wander around for long periods of time. Now with this extra time on my hands, I can spend that extra time outdoors which allows my imagination and research time to come to the fore.

One particular hike brought home the journey I decided to take when I followed a dream of writing. On this particular hike, I decided to try a trail I'd not traversed before. As is my pattern I chose the incline part of the trail first. As I headed upward, pausing of course to take photos of things that caught my eye, my mind likened it to the upper trajectory one makes when they decide to try something new.

The start of the trail
Photo property of the author.
As the trail leveled out and I thought to myself this is how writing and publishing should be. You've put in the effort and the story is flowing. Soon a publisher is preparing to launch that book or short story. But, as with all trails and dreams, the easy part can fool you.

As I started on the downward portion of the trail I was distracted by voices of young people giggling, laughing, and their music blaring, cutting into the beautiful silence that allowed my thoughts to flow. I thought this was much like the chatter of my own mind telling me that I couldn't do it, what was I thinking, I was a fool to follow my dream. Then, I turned a corner and the noise with cut off by the trees and rocks of the trail.

Photo property of the author
Up ahead I saw a bench and I'd covered quite a distance so I sat to rest. The trail was silent, and there were few people out on the trail that day. I sat and listened to the breeze through the trees, the birds singing and talking to one another. There was a rustling in the leaves behind and to the side of me but nothing frightening.

View from the top of the trail
Photo property of the author
Once I'd caught my breath and relaxed I resumed the hike. I shortly was at a point where I ran into a very rocky,, uneven part of the trail. What a wake-up call. Now in my mind, this part of the trail was like all the marketing, the platforms, and all the other parts of being an author that one does not think of when they just want to tell their stories. But, I had come too far to turn around and retrace my steps. It was easier to continue on, so I did.

Should I go on, or return the way I came?
Photo property of the author
Eventually, the trail smoothed out, I came out of the trees and looked at the vistas in front and to my sides. Walking back to my car I realized this long hike had given me perspective on myself and my career as a writer. I made it through the trail and I guess I'm going to make it through as an author.

The end is in sight
Photo property of the author
Perhaps you've had a similar journey. Sometimes the desire to finish what you started is what keeps you going, and after so long, it's better to stay the course instead of stopping.

For those who wonder, I'm still out hiking, taking photos, and thinking about the writing projects I'm finishing and the ones I hope to start. It's a good time.

Doris Gardner-McCraw -
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women's History
Angela Raines - author: Where Love & History Meet
Angela Raines FaceBook: Click Here


Julie Lence said...

Great blog, Doris. I agree--writing/publishing/marketing... it's all a trail we must follow. Hugs! (But, thank God it isn't one of those trails up a 14teener!)

Renaissance Women said...

Thanks, Julie. I do hike, but that 14teener is not on the immediate list of trails to take. Still, I find the hikes so conducive to my creativity and sanity. (Although some may question that. LOL) Doris

Elizabeth Clements said...

I used to walk a lot, preferably by myself so that I could think, or not think, just enjoy the fresh air and peace and quiet away from the office. I never had interesting terrain to hike through like you have, Doris. It was just plain old dry prairie grass as the summer progressed. When I walked the coulees in town, that offered some scenery, at least. I often thought of a story I was working on. And yes, writing is a journey just like your lovely walks. I always enjoy your blogs, Doris, and your lovely photos.

Kristy McCaffrey said...

Walking often clears my head too. Great analogies!

Renaissance Women said...

Elizabeth, I miss my walks when work or the weather gets in the way. I will admit that in many ways I am blessed to have so many options available to me.

I am honored that you like my posts. It does mean a lot. Doris

Renaissance Women said...


It is one of the greatest things, walking, for clearing one's mind, and working out story problems. Seems the mind just works better with the rhythm of the steps. Doris