A walk to the station #7

by Steve

The morning is a cliché. It is Monday, I’m tired, and it is dark and wet outside. This isn’t really great source material for a blog post. Nobody likes Mondays, and Garfield the cat has explored that concept more extensively and thoroughly than I ever can. There is nothing really notable about being tired in the morning, especially at the start of the week. Dark mornings are becoming the norm. Talking about the weather is pretty boring, especially this sort of weather. Extremes in weather aren’t much fun, but are at least worth talking about. This weather is just a blanket of mediocrity – grey, damp, tepid.

So, on my walk I do a great job of thinking about what I can’t write about. And I guess this plays just as big a role in this project as thinking about what I can write about. Over the past week or so I have ruled things out because they wouldn’t necessarily be fun to write or read about. I have thought about plenty of interesting walk-related topics, but have ruled them out as I haven’t encountered them on that particular walk. I have tried to avoid preempting subject matter, to clear my head and just see what happens.

I suppose the value of this exercise (for me the writer, if not you the reader) is to rewire my writing process, or at least offer an alternative approach to writing. While I am not a great planner and note-taker, I do spend a fair bit of my free time (as in moments when I don’t have to think about anything else – the commute, waiting for a kettle to boil, taking a shower, rather than any serious, allotted, planned ‘free time’) thinking about what I might write about next. More often than not I have worked out a fair bit of a post in my head so that I can just sit down and write it. It inevitably changes, and often goes in another direction, but the foundations are there, pretty much always.

This process, however, is all about a lack of preparation, of capturing what happens, or enters my head, during a ten minute walk. It is then about conveying it. I think there is a degree of reflection, as I’m pretty sure I didn’t think about all the above on my walk this morning, so I guess the process is also about the conflict between capturing a particular time period, and whether that needs to be done accurately, or just well. Short of writing out my thoughts verbatim on my walk, can I ever really achieve an accurate representation of it?

I think this process is also about how I respond to place, and how I sometimes just fall into a solipsistic hole like I did this morning. There is always that tension in writing between looking outwards and looking inwards. Today was in inwards day. Not that much fun. Apologies. Monday.

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