bicycling & writing: an object lesson

For the past couple of days, I’ve been learning how to ride a bike. 

It was one of my goals for 2016 and I’m happy to say that I’m making a good bit of progress, though I’m still nowhere near to being able to ride perfectly.  My legs are scraped up, I have three new blisters, and my whole body aches, but I’m having lots of fun anyway, and I’m not giving up until I beat this thing.  I’ve already determined that.

What does all this have to do with writing?  Well, another one of my goals for this year was to revise my novel, The Bounty Hunter.  And I’ve been putting that off, afraid to touch that mess of a thing.  No determination.  None of the gumption that I’m showing in learning how to bicycle.

You know what I need to do?  I need to push through my reservations, my compunctions, my worries, my doubts and plow into my book with all the vigor and verve that I know I’m capable of.  Just like I’m pushing through my aches and pains to reach the other goal I set for myself.  Especially since I have Louis L’Amour’s quote staring me in the face every time I look away from my screen: “Start writing, no matter what.  The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”

So, turn up the music, ignore the question marks, and JUST WRITE.

Eva

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15 thoughts on “bicycling & writing: an object lesson

  1. You GO, girl!!!! You can do this–just keep at it 🙂 I’s awesome that you’re learning to ride a bike–I remember how much trouble I had with that, but I caught on eventually; and it became one of my favorite outdoor activities.

    And good luck with your writing! Again, I know you can do it 🙂 I just started a new novel myself–about the Holocaust–which is pretty daunting, but I’m just going to do my best . . .

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    • Thanks! Every time I go and train with my sister, I get better so that’s very encouraging. 🙂 I’m not very big on outdoor activities for the most part, but I can easily see bike riding becoming something I do a lot.

      And thanks again. 🙂 Whoa…a novel about the Holocaust. That’s going to take some serious research and some serious emotional strength, so good for you! I hope it goes well. 🙂

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      • Yes–I only just started this week, and it’s already getting quite emotional (because it starts out with the anti-Jewish riots on Kristallnacht), but at the same time, I really, really love it.

        I’m not going to be writing about the actual concentration camps themselves . . . I think that would take more mental fortitude than I’ll ever have . . . but I’m writing about people having to go into hiding, people losing their whole families to the death camps, and so on . . . and yeah, it’s not going to be easy. But I adore these characters SO MUCH and I really want to tell their story.

        I got the idea for it last summer; and I was thinking about it for a while “in the back of my mind” . . . and then this spring semester, I took a class about Modern German History where we studied the Holocaust in much greater depth than I’d ever done before, and it just brought it all back. And I realized, I need to write this story RIGHT NOW. It’s calling to me.

        I just can’t wait until it’s completed and I can have all you guys read it!! 🙂

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      • Basically, reading or watching anything related to the Holocaust devastates me (no exaggeration!), so I couldn’t imagine actually writing about it. Sounds like an amazing story, though…and I’d still like to be a beta reader. 🙂

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      • Oh, I would LOVE to have you as a beta reader! I’m so excited about this story, and I can’t wait to share it with people! I just hope I can do the subject justice . . .

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  2. Way to go! Persistence pays off, huh?

    I’m letting myself take the first 4 weeks of this month off from writing because my revisions wrung me very dry. But by the end of the month, I need to get back in the saddle too. I have a new story idea that I want to mess around with, and I need to get back to editing Fickle Creek.

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    • Whenever I don’t write, I feel restless and/or guilty but I think it might work to schedule breaks and write in between than not write at all and feel awful about it. (That sounds awfully convoluted, I know…)

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      • The writing process, like any artistic process, IS convoluted.

        I think that, as you live with being a writer, you will learn what works best for you. Do you need a schedule that says, “If you write X, then you can not write the rest of the day,” or one that says, “When you finish a draft, you get a week off,” etc. Hemingway tried making himself write all morning, and then he took the rest of the day off, and that seemed to work for him. I write when I have time and energy, and do a lot of thinking about stories betweentimes, but when I’ve finished a big project, I allow myself some time (days or weeks, depending) to relax and refuel. It can be really important to be sure you’re not just bleeding your creativity dry.

        And then there are simply fallow seasons. Sometimes writing turns from joy to drudgery. Sometimes I avoid it altogether. Sometimes I force myself to work anyway because I have a deadline.

        Don’t beat yourself up over needing breaks. But don’t let breaks become excuses to put writing off longer and longer, either. Balance, in writing, as in all of life, is key.

        That being said, I need to get back on my writing horse soon too. Maybe we could challenge/inspire each other?

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      • Yes, I think I’ll have to work it out for myself, but I do find your tips helpful. And I do feel like I should write more (as evidenced by the fact that when I went out today, I took a notebook with me and scribbled down a bit of story while in the car). Anyway, I typed up a schedule a few days ago and I have a good hour or two labeled ‘writing time’, so that should help. I love being organized.

        And YES, let’s be writing buddies. (We already are, sort of, but still…)

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