Out and About

Wait…it’s been HOW long since I did a blog post?!

See, this is what you get when you destroy your routine.

In my “real” life — in my life exploring the backwoods, and traveling the world — I crave adventure and unpredictability. I intentionally seek out the unexpected.  Real life without those things, to be honest, is but the palest, most miserable shadow of existence I can imagine.  But in my writing?

I don’t know about the other writers out there, but I am very much a creature of habit when it comes to writing and creating.  Maybe it’s because I am, when you get down to work and professionalism, pretty damned task-oriented.  Give me a complex issue to solve, and I will break everything down to the constituent parts to get it done.  Back when I thought wearing a shirt & tie every day was the route to happiness, that quality made me a good project manager.*  It has translated, now, into the ability to break down how to write a story into the component tasks that can be achieved in a single writing session.

*This was not a natural skill for me, by the way.  I had to learn it the hard way.  To those younger writers/folks out there who think you only ever have the skills you are born with, and that success only comes from success, I will say this: I learned to be task-oriented from failure.  I failed miserably in life- and career-terms a couple of times before I figured this shit out…

It is those writing sessions, however, that are the problem.

My “real” life might consist of this (and, yes, this is an actual example from my travels): wake up in the hotel, get lost walking through the city trying to find some random hole-in-the-wall bakery for breakfast, then flip a coin to determine which train to take next…

When I write, I can’t do that.  To be fully productive, I have to have a routine.  I have to get up and go to a coffee place for breakfast, and to write.  After lunch, I have to (a) go to a taproom or (b) sit in a nice spot outside, and write.  I can of course do those things at home, but it doesn’t work as well.

I’ve said before that writing at home is not a route to success for me.  When I am out in the world, I am surrounded by life and by others (as strange as that sounds, coming from someone as quiet and introspective as me), and that makes my writing more open and energetic.  It makes the writing easier, too.  I don’t have to force the words when I am out and about amidst all that life, they tend to come on their own.

When I am sitting at home, however, my writing veers towards the introspective and internal.  That “at home” writing is when I withdraw inside myself…and when the black dog comes most into my thoughts and words.  Working at home leads to words on the page that are not comfortable to read, and still less so to write.


Okay, so this post took a wrong turn somewhere around Albuquerque.*  

*To my international (and younger!) readers: if that line makes no sense, that’s probably a good thing.  It refers back to a frequent line from that literary genius, Bugs Bunny…

I was actually planning on doing this as a list-post, with a few random points that hit me as I read the news this morning.  I am, however, already well over 500 words into this piece, so I think I’ll have to put that list together for a post later this week.  Nope, no list today! Instead, you get the random ramblings of a guy barely into his second cup of coffee…

Oh, and in addition to the list, I have an image I want to do for a flashfiction piece this week, too.  I am trying not to think about that piece, actually.  At least, not yet. Not until I am ready to give it that hour of undivided attention and focus it needs.  As for the image?  Walking down a dark road, and ahead snowflakes falling gently in the light of a streetlamp.

Shit!  Now I’m thinking about it…

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