Flexing Muscles

It’s said that writing is like a muscle; one needs to keep flexing it regularly, daily if possible.

I would add that, like so many types of exercise that keep our muscles strong – in my case, running – writing must become a habit so that when you do miss a day, you notice. You feel it, a sense of something missing, a loss, and you know you must find time for it tomorrow in order to feel right again.

Yet if one missed day become several, for whatever plausible reasons, the habit weakens; the need to flex that muscle daily lessens, but a dull ache remains, a knowledge that you’ll feel so much better if you restore the habit.

field and mountains
The awe-inspiring scene of this morning’s run in the valley.

As I was running with my dogs this morning, flexing my leg muscles, I was thinking about how I need to get back into the habit of also flexing my writing muscle. Every day. Even if what I’m itching to write about is controversial and so a bit scary.

For me, being in nature and writing naturally go together, like bread and butter, like dogs and unconditional love. The former inspires and improves the latter.

forest scene
Fall colors in the forest where we regularly roam.

For now I’ll share photos of scenes that I’ve enjoyed in past days while out in nature, thinking about nature and wildlife, the cycle of life and our impact on them, working up the nerve to write about a topic I can’t ignore where I live: hunting. Rifle killing season started today, keeping me and my dogs down in the valley, out of the forest we love, knowing untold numbers of deer and elk are being slaughtered for fun and ego. Aren’t we humans already doing enough damage to this planet and its inhabitants? Isn’t there already enough death and suffering?

dogs on forest road
Running with the dogs on a forest road a few days ago, one that now we avoid during killing season.

It sucks being a sensitive person with high emotional intelligence and empathy for living creatures living in a state that not too long ago added the right to trap animals to its state constitution so that it would be nearly impossible to prevent that horror, that invites killers from all over the country to visit and enjoy killing the wildlife.

I’m working on that post. It’s a challenge, but I feel compelled to speak up, speak out. Soon…

rose hips
Rose hips (rosa canina, also known as dog roses) in the forest. My dogs enjoy eating them each autumn.
frost on grass, fence
Morning frost on grass fronds next to a ranch fence in the valley.

5 thoughts on “Flexing Muscles”

  1. Beautiful photos. I especially like the frost…
    Bow season has started up here, followed by rifle and then black powder. 3 solid months of slaughter. I’ve never been able to wrap my mind around someone taking pleasure from killing a beautiful creature.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh how I hate hunting season. Besides the incessant blam blam blam, the forest is off limits 6 of 7 days. There’s a big push in Pennsylvania now to add hunting on Sundays. I emailed my state rep about it but I heard nothing in return. He did, however, add me to his email list.

    I use my writing muscles exactly like I use my running muscles. I sit idle all week and then on the weekend I go long. I’m trying to add some mid-week runs (this week is my best in a decade), maybe I should try to sprinkle in some smaller writing sessions as well. When do I read?!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At least you have one day a week of peace; here rifle/gun season is every day from Oct 10 through nearly Thanksgiving. I’d do a happy dance for Sundays free of fear and blams. As for how often to exercise those various muscles, including writing? Dunno. I guess we’re all an experiment of one, eh? I find it easier to establish a daily habit than a weekly one, but I also don’t have a “real” job that sucks up huge chunks of my time each week. That said, I find I’m more productive as a writer when I’m busier in all aspects of my life. When I have free time, do I use it writing? Sadly, no, and that muscle goes unused, or at best underused. So, like you, I’m thinking shorter projects/posts until muscle memory is restored.

      Liked by 2 people

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