I’m on a five month road trip around Australia. As fabulous as this is, it comes with many challenges. Often these challenges remind me of the writing life:
No matter how carefully you plan where you’re going, you don’t always end up where you expected. Planning is important but accept there will be delays and detours.
A lot of time may be spent searching for things that don’t appear. You may climb many steps, walk many trails, without seeing a platypus or quokka. Then a huge flock of endangered white-tailed black cockatoos bursts from the forest. That’s when you realize some unproductive hours have led to this one brilliant moment. Be patient with the process. Don’t stop looking because the first effort didn’t work.
The idea of undertaking a huge adventure may seem wonderful at first but there will be moments of doubt. Some days you may even want to quit. Take the adventure one day at a time.
Other people may have been where you’re going before you. Ask for advice. Other people can save you a lot of time and disappointment. They also can send you in the wrong direction. Be a discerning listener. Sometimes the voices you hear aren’t the ones to listen to.
Sometimes it’s the same thing over and over again. Drive. Unpack. Pack. Drive. The monotony of one day paves the way for great discoveries the next.
The journey is not intuitive. You get better at it the more you do it. Practice improves the process.
What have you learned from your latest trip, be it across a continent or across a manuscript?
Photo from Wikimedia: a female, long-billed, black cockatoo (aka Baudin’s Black Cockatoo) at Margaret River, Western Australia by Snowmanradio
Second photo: the road from Pardoo Station Western Australia by Maggie Bolitho