I’ve always been facinated with roads, in photos, in paintings and in life. There is something haunting, compelling and strangely empowering about them. When the weather permits, one of my favorite things to do is to go on a hike. My favorite walk is near my home. I am lucky enough to live near areas that have still been untouched. Areas I walk that allow me to feel at peace with nature and that has always been important to me. This is a photo of one of them. It is not only beautiful, but hilly and filled with unexpected wilderness friends. I do most of my best thinking, meditating, praying and contemplating on this path. It is something I do to feel energize and also to feel motivated.
Winter’s are hard for me. Once December is over and done I am looking towards the Spring. I am a mother of two sons. My oldest is married and has a daughter of his own and my youngest is in his third year of college away ten hours from me. As I try to reinvent myself each day I think of the road I have traveled. All my decisions, all my turns have brought me to where I am today. Every detour, every turn is a step, a decision one makes that changes and has an impact on the next step or turn.
I post this because I have been immersed in writing my new book. As I write I realize that each chapter, each conflict or resolution is an outcome from a decision or choice I made early on. Just like my walks and hikes, just like the roads I travel and the choices I make, I make turns and take steps up and down hill with my plots and characters. The major difference is that as a writer, I do have some kind of control and the unseen down the road is something I can create. In life we don’t have that luxury. We either take the next step with fear or jolt into the unknown with hope that our expectations will be met and our dreams reached when we get to the end of the road.
I want to encourage all of you out there who have stories in your head and are filled with wonder if they should ever be written down. Yes they should! Write them. Write them for yourself, write them with hopes to perfect them. The more you write the more you will loose the fear of writing and gain an appreciation and a confidence to do so. Even if you begin with timelines for your stories. You might not know how to write your story, but you know what you might want to happen with your characters. Set markers in the time line about different points in the characters lives or moments that are important in his/her evolution as a character in your novel. Before you know it, you will have a sort of map showing you what will happen and how and when it will take place.
Then take each moment in time and give it life. Fill out the blanks. Give color to your canvases. Make goals for yourself and keep them when it comes to writing. Say I will finish writing this specific scene by the end of the week, etc.
Make time to write. Take that step up that hill and around the bend and see what you might find. You might surprise yourself. Many times my characters have felt like they have taken over where my story is going. I become so involved with them that they become a powerful force to the point where when I’m writing and I have one of them do something that in actuality they would not do, I find myself saying things like, “wait, he would never do that. Re write this.”
It’s an advernture. LIke my walks and hikes. I don’t know who I might meet along the way, nor will the hills feel steeper or the terrain rougher, but I do it because it allows me to strengthen and grow and relax. Write each day so that you may strengthen, grow and relax. Enjoy.