Sunday, November 27, 2016

On Hiking and Writing

The transition from aged travel fanatic to semi-retired business professional went exceedingly smooth this time. Even Wife has started to admit that the tactic of stopping on our way back overnight at the US hub of entry before we go on home to Albuquerque makes the whole process of adjusting body clocks much, much easier. We have a great house sitter now who collects the mail so we can get right on it rather than have to wait two days until we finally get it. I started sending out emails to line up work meetings a couple of weeks before we were to come home so I the Monday after we came home (a Tuesday), I had a full schedule in place.

The one thing that was very difficult this time was getting back into the rhythm of my exercise hiking. The first day I was going to do it, the wind was pretty high, though not as high as I've dealt with in the past, and decided to pass. Then the next time it was raining. That's a legitimate reason to not go - no need to expose myself to slippery rocks at my age. Finally after a couple of weeks, it was a nice day and I actually did it, and I went again a few days later as schedule called for.

It took me a while to figure out what the issue was but I think it has to do with the fact that when we are traveling, our exercise, walking, is just a natural part of our day. We get up, decide where we're going, go, and spend 4 to 5 hours on our feet. It isn't like I have to program in exercise.

That's not the way it is when we're home. I have to schedule and block out specific times to get out hiking and I have to do something special (get dressed, drive to the trail, ice down when I get back) that is specific to that activity. It's a lot easier when it just fits into one's daily routine.

However, when I did finally get my ass in gear and got hiking I remembered one of the fabulous reasons why I hike - My Story. When I hike it turns into a combination of exercise, meditation, and creative outpouring. The vast majority of my story ideas come to my while hiking. I typically start hiking and will be doing a mantra repetition. Then out of nowhere some aspect of the story I'm working one will come out. When I say come out, it comes to me in the form of full blown dialog/interaction between various characters with a high degree of emotional content. And very frequently it is characters and interactions that have nothing to do with what I'm currently writing. That is how I've ended up with material for a at least two to three more books following the four book series I'm working on.  There is no other time when the creativity flow as it does when I'm hiking. I will switch back and forth between the mantra repetition and the creative outflow through out the hike. I often consciously repeat/go over what has come up creatively as I'm finishing the hike to remember it and then will jot down notes in my various outlines on my computer once I get back.

Just a bit of an update on the overall writing project. I am getting close to the end of the fourth book that I've written of the series that I'm creating. This book will actually be the first book in the story sequence. After this I will go back to the very first book I wrote (now the second book in the series) and rewrite it. Things have changed so much between what I initially wrote going back to my youth and now that it will almost be like writing that book from scratch. My writing keeps developing so I will need to go over the other two books as well. Plus, now that I have created the 'historical foundation' I will need synchronized all the other books to this initial book. I have decided that I'm going to hire an editor once the current book is done. I'm very confident in my story creating ability but I know the craft of writing is lacking. Hopefully I can find someone who I can click with. Then I think I will self-publish them. I've self-published a business book and it's really not a big deal in terms of cost or effort.

1 comment:

alexis said...

exercise is great for generating ideas.