Ignore the Rules

Alrighty! Today I took a nap. I got my procrasticleaning done (vacuuming dog hair off the floors, washing dog blankets, skipping the dusting because I hate dusting even more than vacuuming). I edited photos from this morning’s walk with my dogs (some included here). I read some great blog posts.

Now what? A long evening stretches ahead. Shouldn’t I be writing?

Wait, I did write something! A comment to another blogger’s post, one that eloquently points out that there’s more to writing than succumbing to the advice to write something, anything, every day.

For example, there’s background stuff, the creative processes happening quietly in your brain all the time, often keeping you awake at night, that aren’t actual writing. That all counts. There’s thinking about your work in progress, thinking about edits to what you’ve already written, thoughts humming away in the background when you’re out with your dogs (or doing your activity of choice).

Oh, and there’s life. You know, family and friends and pets and jobs and responsibilities and obligations. All key parts of the process that shouldn’t be ignored or belittled because they all provide you with material.

Often, when I’m procrastinating, it’s because my subconscious knows I need more time to ruminate, collate my thoughts, and play with ideas before letting them flow through my fingertips onto the keyboard for display on the computer screen.

My comment to that blog post: The only writing rule I follow: Don’t follow any writing rules. Even the one that says, “Just write.”

As I’ve noted here before, everyone’s process is different. Make your own rules. Me? I prefer to not have any rules. They’re stressful.

And just like that, I’ve written something: a blog post. Hurray!

A bonus: on that foggy country road, walking with my dogs this morning, when I wasn’t writing, I witnessed something that will likely find its way into my work-in-progress about the natural world, something captured in this sequence of photos:

rural country road
Normally I avoid including telephone poles in my photos, but this morning, the way they disappeared into the fog, I found them less distracting even though the small barn in the distance was my read focus, so I turned my back on the dogs and framed this photo.
dog and hawk on foggy road
Immediately after taking the photo above, I turned and saw Conall well ahead down the road, shadowed on the right by a low-flying red-tailed hawk! I almost always see hawks perched on the telephone poles here, but they usually fly off ahead of us. Because I had my back turned, giving Conall more space, this hawk felt comfortable following Conall more closely, maybe hoping he would scare up a vole for a meal.
dog and hawk on foggy road
Conall stops to face the ditch, perhaps seeing movement. The hawk notices…
hawk flying above road in fog
…and turns to follow Conall (only his fluffy white tail visible) as he investigates.
dog on road in fog
By the time Conall comes back to the road – apparently there wasn’t anything moving in the ditch after all – the hawk has disappeared into the fog. (The wet footprints on the pavement are Conall’s.)

I’ve read numerous accounts of the symbiotic relationship between wolves and ravens, the latter helping wolves find prey by circling and/or flying in a specific direction that the wolves follow toward prey, then dining on the leftovers after the wolves have eaten their fill. Many times I’ve observed ravens following my dogs and me in the forest, flying from tree to tree along with us, clearly more interested in my dogs (especially the Malamutes) than in me. These interactions always make me wonder if the ravens think my dogs are wolves, and worth shadowing. It’s a fun thought to consider.

I need to do some research about red-tailed hawks, to learn if the the same sort of mutualism with wolves or other canid predators has been observed with them.

These are the sorts of observations – the putting together of seemingly disparate things in a new way – that come to me when I’m out in nature, away from my computer. I want to weave these into my book. If I didn’t spend so much time away from writing, open to whatever I see, I would never find these nuggets.

Writing isn’t always about writing.

Another bonus: These blog musings are often my “shitty first drafts.”

Feature image: cattails, creek, fences and pasture in the fog prompt lots of creative thinking on this morning’s walk.

6 thoughts on “Ignore the Rules”

    1. Thank you! I’m just an amateur with a cell phone, taking photos for my own amusement, but I do enjoy trying to see things in a new way and sometimes telling a story with them. Or just sharing the beauty around me. It’s wonderful to know those efforts are appreciated!

      Liked by 1 person

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