Try to see things differently – It’s the only way to get a clearer perspective on the world and on your life. ~ Neal Shusterman
Today as I work to revise my contemporary young adult novel that’s been in my life for what seems like FOREVER, I send prayers that the goddesses will grant me a different perspective on these pages and pages of muck. While an ibis thrives on muck, this writer does not. I’m ready for wings to help me float above it all and see this manuscript differently.
That title is a little play on words.
Why? Because the closer, larger sunflowers should be the focus of the photo.
But instead of being the sharpest images, they’re the most blurred.
Anyone looking at this photo must search for my focus,
which is something I find myself doing more and more.
So, welcome to the club.
I'm developing new perspectives
regarding running and writing,
perspectives I hope will sustain me.
I am a creature of habit
and while there's no harm in my many years
of ordering aloo gobi at Indian restaurants
or my drawer filled with black shirts,
I'm realizing I do myself a disservice when I,
for example, get so focused on how fast I can run a certain
trail that I get locked into that one workout.
Last summer I ran three or four times a week
on the trails in the open space,
trails that include lots of rocks and inclines.
When it came time for the annual road race 5k to benefit my kids'
high school I was sure I'd kick butt.
Well, I did cut some time but nothing close to what I'd hoped for,
and I didn't know why.
Now I think I do.
Every run was on the same couple loops,
starting from the same place
and ending at the same point.
My muscles got used to those runs and settled in at that level.
Here's what the trail system looks like where I run:
image from BigDaddyMaps.com
While it's true there are many trails,
not all those trails are great for running.
Many are so steep I'd be faster hiking them than "running."
So I gravitated to the trails that had long sections of tolerable inclines,
wanting a decent-length workout.
This summer I'm trying something new:
I go off on tangents, even if those trails are short or quickly turn steep.
I'm keeping my muscles on their proverbial toes as I mix up my workouts.
As a result, I'm not obsessed with my time and allow myself the luxury of
watching coyotes or jumping sideways at the sight of a snake.
Every step I take is a good step.
So what does this lengthy screed have to do with my writing?
I'm back working on the project I set aside in April in order to focus
on other revisions, the project that's different from any other book I've written.
This project intimidates me and I really have no clue whether I'm hitting the mark.
But I'm using new writing muscles and that can only make me a stronger writer
(assuming I don't run screaming into the night).
Something else I've learned?
New perspectives are not only good for the muscles but nourish the soul.