This First Wednesday of July I’m answering the question of the month on the IWSG Website. Here, I’m just going to ramble on a bit about what’s happening in my little part of the world.
I finished up my Covid-19 Challenge last week on Day 95 with a total of 341 miles. That means I averaged 3.58 miles a day, so I’m rounding up and saying I met my challenge of 4 miles a day. Out of all that mileage came some interesting lessons for me as a writer.
At first, I really didn’t think I could make it 4 miles. That’s a ways and at my advance age it takes some time, so I’d have to cut out other activities, leave some jobs undone. And I was right. I had to adjust my routine, and guess what? That’s exactly what I needed to do–put a freshness into my days.
I discovered I enjoyed those regular tasks more or they really weren’t that necessary after all. They definitely didn’t seem so boring. Some days the dishes waited until late at night, the bed wasn’t made until I climbed back into it, I made do with leftovers for dinner. The world hadn’t ended, and I’d racked up 4 more miles. Translated into my writer’s world…I can write anytime or not at all, and somehow all will be well.
After the first week, 4 miles didn’t seem very far anymore, and there were some days I did more. My longest walk was 9 miles, and I didn’t know I’d gone that far until I checked my phone. I thought about that and realized that I should apply that to my writing. I needed to stop thinking “I can’t write that next book” and just do it. Nothing’s impossible if I’m determined enough.
There’s a lot to see out there when you’re not rushing. Since I tried to take a different route everyday, I discovered so many places in the town where I’ve lived many years. Things look different when you’re on foot and not driving. Even familiar trails held some surprises for me because I wasn’t on my way anywhere; I was just out for a hike. So why not just enjoy the process of setting down a story? I did that when I first started writing, and I realized I needed to recapture that joy and stop pushing to get that next book finished.
I miss getting up and heading out first thing in the morning, but now stores are opening up, trails and sidewalks are more crowded, traffic has swelled to almost pre-Covid levels, so I’ve decided to only take those long walks once in a while. I may even hook up with some friends again and see how walking with others feels. It has been a while since I’ve had conversations with people face-to-face, and I’m missing that kind of interaction. Zoom has helped, but it can’t replace sharing real, physical time with people I like. Another writer lesson: you have to write alone, but you can’t isolate yourself forever without losing some of the inspiration others bring into your life.
On the Reading Front
|Reading has–as always–been a bit part of my daily routine, and I didn’t change that while I’ve been distancing from the rest of the world. I loved this book. What an intricate plotter this writer is. I have a lion’s head knocker exactly like the one on the cover, and it opens a gate into a garden. I had to read this book because of the intrigue that lion’s head and that gate offered. I wasn’t disappointed.|
|From the sublime to the wacky, or in this case Wonky. I bought this book for one of my little ones. Well, I was laughing so hard while reading it that I had a tough time getting through the story. The kids didn’t find the book half as entertaining as I did, but they thought I was hilarious with tears rolling down my cheeks. They’ll get what’s so funny once they’ve matured.|
Quote of the Month: “Life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and this the risk of doing nothing.” Anonymous