Sometimes I feel that all I do is walk around and think.
I wonder if it’s a good use of my time.
But then I remember that many a great writer did this, writers like Charles Dickens and Friedrich Nietzsche.
I’m not yet a great writer, but I’m willing to emulate the habits of the great until I become one.
In the meantime, I walk.
Like those writers, my best ideas spring forth from my being as I meander about.
It’s as if the twists and turns I’m propelled through by my legs open the sinewy crevices of my brain.
Suddenly, an idea that had been germinating in my brain without my knowledge emerges from the soil of my mind.
And it’s likely that the seed of the idea started long before that.
Because my approach is to flood my brain with information—from books I read, from others, from eclectic sources—so that my mind may become fertile, and so that I may enrich and till my mind’s soil.
I can’t ever know when an idea will emerge; I just need to trust the process. Once the process is complete, the writing will happen.
And the process isn’t always glamorous. In fact, it’s often torturous. And it can be downright infuriating.
But I draw comfort from the fact that ages and ages of artists have followed this same path.
When it comes down to it, all creators must do this work.
All artists must latch themselves to a chair—or stand up straight and plant their feet firmly, like Hemingway was known to do—and just create something.
The more time I put in, the more my writing evolves.
The more of the writing craft I commit to honing, the more my mind is itself honed.
No one can improve without putting in the time.
In this day and age of getting immediate access to whatever you want and unwieldy, over-sized expectations, the actual learning comes from slowing down, from doing the things that the rest of the world isn’t willing to do.
How could it ever be any other way?
How could valuable skills ever be wrestled from the ether without putting forth uncommon amounts of effort and focus?
To develop a skill set that few have, you must be willing to put in the work that few will do.
And so I walk.
And I talk to myself.
And I smile up at the sky and give non-answers to the inevitable questions from those who wonder what on Earth I am doing.
I’m not sure.
All I know is that it works for me and makes me feel alive with the potential of what the process will create.
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