Sometimes you see an obstacle coming, and your focus on the obstacle is nearly obsessive... and so you swerve, hoping to miss it... and hit something as bad, or at least ALMOST as bad. Do you have ANY idea how much I LOVE that in a story? When trying to avoid something LEADS to it? And do you have any idea how much I HATE IT in life?
Let me e'spalin...
The Eberwhite Bog
So on my powerwalk yesterday, the day was GORGEOUS. It has been... pretty much soup for the last couple weeks (too warm, high in humidity) but yesterday was FABULOUS. It was PERFECT weather, at least by midwest summer standards. Humidity had probably dropped to 50 and the temperature was in the low 80s... perfection...
I took my powerwalk—never miss it on the weekend... and because it was so nice, the Eberwhite Woods diversion did not even seem optional. I saw the entrance and dived in.
Ann Arbor is sort of lovely with all it's intra-city woods—greenspaces--there is actually a city goal of running a path in both directions (E/W and N/S) such that you could go all the way through town in a PARK—you'd have to cross streets, but a pretty nice jog, ne? Considering Ann Arbor is about 7 miles by 7 miles (7 square miles of real estate, surrounded by reality, as the bumper sticker goes) But I digress...
Anyway... so I dived in and remembered why I don't ALWAYS dive in... As I did the wide-step waddle with the stream running down the middle of the path, trying to avoid the particularly muddy spots... it occurred to me that sometimes the path gets MUCKY.
So I got to a certain point in the trail where the stream was wide enough that I had to hop and wobble to hit the dry spots... And then I had to go off into the growth to avoid the stream... and ended up in some sort of nettles.
It wasn't the REAL nettles... like the day long, spread to other parts of your body version you get in the woods, but it still sucked.
BUT THE WRITING METAPHOR!
Ha! You can't escape it! It reminded me of the fiasco where I THOUGHT I hadn't written something, so instead I WROTE something, but it was the WRONG thing, because I'd already WRITTEN something.... but that isn't the metaphor I was really trying for. PSYCH!
Here is the REAL metaphor:
Often when you write you spot something you REALLY want to avoid. And you work so hard to avoid it, that you don't spot the stinging prickles of the other options.
The LESSON... before you commit to diving off course, look a little more carefully into the other options... look either way, consider the REAL consequences of diving one way or the other.
So there... when you are writing, if you spot something that might get your feet all wet, CAREFULLY evaluate the other options, because the reality is wet feet are better than a painful rash.