Several years ago, I followed my son-in-law home along a deserted, rainy Tennessee road at night. I was doing okay until he vanished around a bend in the road ahead. I couldn’t catch up because he was “headed for the barn” as we say in the South. No moon. Two lanes, no shoulder. Dips and hills, twists and turns, torrential rain and nearly continuous lightning.
Spookier than Sleepy Hollow
No state does back roads like Tennessee. No state does trees and cane on the verge of the asphalt like Tennessee. And certainly, no state does remote, shuttered church buildings with cemeteries like Tennessee. Lightning flashed, thunder boomed, and tree limbs whipped around like skeletal arms, reaching out to grab the vehicle and pull it into the ditch.
That abandoned, rain-swept back road was spookier than Sleepy Hollow. And I just knew that if my vehicle got a flat tire, I was done for. I’d vanish without a trace because the only place I could turn for help was that house with the blue light at the end of a dirt track.
It was just me on that lonely stretch, and even with my trusty GPS, I got lost twice.
We All Travel a Lonely Road
But don’t we all travel a lonely road? When it comes right down to it, don’t we actually travel alone? Maybe it’s just my INTJ self, but most days, that’s the way I feel. I have a wonderful, close-knit, loving family in my house, but they don’t sit with me while I write. They don’t hear the thoughts in my head. They don’t make my decisions or form the words I say. They don’t learn or practice new skills for me.
But I’m never truly alone.
Life seems like a solitary pursuit of purpose. Yes, people can come alongside us, but in the end, we know they cannot live inside our skin. The spiritual journey most people take through life is accompanied by an aching void.
Thank God, there’s someone who lives inside my skin with me. Those who don’t have a relationship with Christ simply will not understand this next part. His Spirit lives inside me, and I definitely feel his presence.
I didn’t start out to talk about Jesus, but if you want to know more, let’s talk.
Back to Writing
I was going to write about the lonely road as it pertains to authors because most authors work alone, and we often get lonely.
A point comes when it’s just the author and the page, the thoughts and the words. Sometimes, life is dark and rainy. And you’re lost on an unfamiliar route featuring spooky houses with blue lights. Just kidding about that last part.
Actually, you’re stuck 40,000 words into your story, your plot outline flew out the window three chapters ago, and you have no idea how you’re going to land this plane because you’re flying over the Himalayas without a paddle.
Wait. That didn’t make sense. But you get the picture.
Going to the House with the Spooky Blue Light
Your internal GPS is telling you to take roads that don’t exist. You keep circling back to where you started. Oh, it’s definitely time to get help.
This is when you have to get help, and it feels as if you’re walking up the dirt road to the shady house with the blue porch light. Critique partners aren’t as spooky as you think. Sometimes, they are the only folks who can help you get safely home.
Be brave. Get help.
I’m really happy to be part of the Scriblerians because I have other people trying to help me stay on the road. If you’re not part of a group already, then form one.
Have you ever reached a point where you had to reach out for help?
Texas author, Kathrese McKee, writes epic adventures for young adults and anyone else who enjoys pirates and princesses combined with life’s difficult questions. She is committed to exciting stories, appropriate content, and quality craftsmanship.
Learn more at http://www.kathresemckee.com