When a Writer Walks Down a Wall, by Lucy Mills

LAST YEAR, ON HOLY SATURDAY, I dropped from a roof .

To be more context-specific, I was abseiling down the side of the parish church. Over the past few years a fear of heights had festered in me, so I was more surprised than anyone to find myself with a ‘ticket’ in hand, queueing for a good two hours or so. All to walk down a wall.

The worst part was, as I expected, trying to get my legs over the top of the tower. It was a struggle finding the ledge for my feet, legs visibly wobbling (I’m told) and then clinging to the edge, awaiting further instructions while my friend (fellow ACW member Annie Porthouse!) was already on the move. But when I leaned back and began the descent, feeling the rope support me, the wobbliness ceased and I enjoyed my little ‘walk’.

A week or so later  I held the book launch for Forgetful Heart. The attack of a virus and a delay at the printers meant that at one point I was a little concerned I would have neither books nor voice for the event. However, the books got there (hooray!) and my voice managed, with a little help from my friends, who read out some extracts for me while I slurped down water.

As all these things were going on, I contemplated the journey that is writing a book. And abseiling down a church tower gave me a good analogy to explore in my reflections.

There are points:
  • when you’re not sure you’re even going to sign up
  • when the ‘waiting’ feels too long and too nerveracking
  • when climbing the narrow, difficult steps feels frightening and destabilising
  • when you cling to the edge, not sure whether you can do this
  • when you aren’t clear what it is you’re supposed to do next
  • when you lean back and let the momentum take you
  • when you look down (or up!) and realise - I did it.

Of course, then you have to begin all over again!

This is an adapted extract from a post written for my own blog last year (when I had longer hair!) - but I thought it might be worth sharing here.


Lucy Mills

Lucy's first book, Forgetful Heart: remembering God in a distracted world, was published in 2014 by Darton, Longman and Todd (DLT). She's written articles, poetry and prayers for various publications and is an editor at magnet magazine. www.lucy-mills.com

Lucy on Twitter: @lucymills
Lucy's Facebook page

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  1. I think that first line must win the 'Most Dramatic First Line on the More than Writers blog' Award! I was made to abseil down a cliff when I was fourteen and sent on a 'holidays for deprived children' week. I never forgave my foster parents. But I agree - it was quite good preparation for being a writer!!

    1. Is there a prize?

      Never tried abseiling before last year...

  2. Well done you for pushing through!

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  4. But you did it :) wel done - I'm just going to keep walking - great encouragement x


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