Walk

Found Writing Advice #13

Let’s start with the metaphorical.

If you rush through your life, in a hurry to get to the next Interesting Thing, the next New Lover, the next Writing Project, you will miss everything on the periphery. Details live in the periphery. If they’re scattered by the rush of air you leave behind as you rush by, you will miss out. You need the details that reside in the places much slower than you may want to go. If you can study dust motes, or watch the clouds roll overhead in a storm, or if you can truly listen when you participate in a conversation rather than rushing ahead and planning the next thing you want to say, you’re probably okay. But if not, slow down.

Walk, don’t run.

Now for the practical.

Move your body. Walk whenever you can, if you are able. I walk this city from one side to the other, looking for those dust motes and storm clouds and well-paced conversations, with strangers, preferrably. Figure out which shoes you have that are most comfortable and wear those ones out. If you have a reason to go downtown from East Van, walk there. Take the viaduct while it’s still standing. Look for the everything will be alright sign about midway, through the trees. Notice the garbage, the weird new part to the south. Listen to the chuh-chuh of the cars going by on a dry day, and the sussurus on a rainy day.

Walk, don’t run.

Don’t run though your first draft. Walk. A steady pace. Don’t doddle. That’s not walking. Walk like you’re going to meet you best friend at the movies and you left a little too late. Don’t run.

Just walk with a purpose.