Tuesday, January 14

The Possibility of Movement

Not too long ago someone I know was going on a rant about people who sit in coffee shops all day using the free  wi-fi and taking up space.  My take is that if there are other empty seats then what's the difference?  I tried to play devils advocate and pointed out that some people who are self employed might feel they're more productive if they don't just sit at home alone in their pajamas.

This post isn't about free-riders who take up bandwidth in public spaces.  Mandy and I were talking about this phenomenon the other day before I went out hiking.  While I was on the trail my thoughts wandered back to the idea.  And after awhile I texted her:

"If I were a full time writer I wouldn't sit in a coffee shop, I'd sit in the woods."

The idea took hold of me.  I realized that I would do just that if I were fortunate enough to be self-employed as a writer.  And as I pondered the possibilities I also realized that I could focus the power of my mind through a writing process that incorporates movement.  

A long time ago I discovered that my clearest thinking comes when I'm moving forward.  Riding the bike, hiking, running...when I'm moving I'm thinking.  The problem is, historically, when I stop moving to write something down I've lost the thread of thought.  But something interesting happened recently.  

When I experimented with writing while moving before I think I used either a notepad or a laptop.  But the other day while I was hiking out Auxier Ridge I had my cell phone.  I texted Mandy.  Then I texted Dave L:

"Has anybody ever asked the FS why mtbing isn't allowed in the RRG?"

We got into a conversation about the Gorge and I ended up texting while I walked along the trail.  I realized--not that I was writing anything special at the time, but that--I had the tool in my hands to take maximize the power of creative momentum.  My iCellular Telephone, while not the perfect compositional platform, is an acceptable mobile digital interface for the type of writing I'm talking about.

I texted Mandy again:

"Too bad I don't have a working laptop and a rain fly with me (rain was blowing in).  Pardon me if I hike off a cliff while texting and walking."

She replied:

"I would be sad and have to start a no texting in the woods campaign and I don't have time for that so don't do it ok?"

To which I retorted:



I didn't really fall.  

I want to do some experimenting.  As I mentioned in one of my earlier texts my laptop is black screened right now. It's really time to get a new one, but in the meantime I'm typing with my fat thumbs.  If I can really knock out the word count with my theoretical method maybe I'll then try with a laptop for optimal efficiency.

The fantasy is that as a full time writer my bike commute would come back.  I'd get up before dawn; load up coffee, laptop, and lunch; and ride to my office in the woods.

Ah, it's a pipe dream, but everybody's got to have something to aim for, eh?




  1. Another thought is to utilize the speech to text features on most devices these days. You ride or hike, as long as you weren't exerting yourself too much and just talk to your device and it would transcribe your words for you. I've not tried it myself but know of 2 or 3 people who love using this feature.

    I love the idea of the office in the woods!

    1. I've done a little of that. It works so-so for me. In the car it works really well. The problem is I record stuff and hen find it hard to go back and listen. It's onerous to transcribe my own speech to text