Hi Everyone, this is my first post to my new blog: Read. Think. Walk. Write.
No, this is not, intentionally, a parody of a popular book and film. And it is not a list of imperatives, an authoritarian to-do list. It is, rather, a definition – of one writer – and a starting point – for one blog – that has such a variety of things to say it doesn’t yet know how to describe itself.
Often writing, like walking, and like life, takes shape as it progresses, sometimes going in unexpected directions, making new discoveries and connections along the way.
Most of the time you ask someone what they “do” and you mean what do they do for a living. But most of us, at least if we’re living as we should be, are so much more than what we do to make money. In fact we are much more than what we do at all. Who and what we are, our character, values, talents, personality, relationships, etc. are so much more important in defining us.
But what we do, aside from our job, is also important to who we are, and gives us interesting things to talk and write about.
And all of this can enrich our work as well, especially if we are creatives, business owners, or simply want to improve our work and personal relationships and communications.
There are four things that I do, and have done most of my life, that are part of who I am, and that continue to help me become whoever I will be. Most of these are pretty much like breathing to me – they are done almost as automatically, and are essential to life as I know it and want it.
My four things are: reading, writing, thinking, and walking. Often, they are interconnected. On my daily walks I think (new ideas, problem solving, philosophizing, a line for a poem, an idea for an article, etc.). Often I then write about what I thought about on my walk. And those thoughts I had while walking probably started with something I read sometime. And so on. They are connected, and they are, or have the potential to be, much bigger than they look at first.
It may seem that my daily walks, what I read, my thoughts and ideas, and even most of what I write might be of little interest or value to anyone outside my small circle of family and friends. But that’s not necessarily true, or at least I hope not.
What you want to know, if you are to keep reading this, is what do the thoughts/ideas/readings/writings and walks of one obscure poet/copywriter/content creator/person whose name I’ve never heard mean to me? What can they do for me, my life, my work?
First, let me say that to begin with, in addition to writing web content for businesses, I am a creative writer and poet, which means that while my product may seem a bit obscure, of interest only to literary enthusiasts, the process – that of looking more closely at things, experiencing life deeply, making unusual connections, and then communicating all of this in a way that is relevant to the human experience – is what may be of value to a wider range of readers.
Sometimes if you just step back and look at things differently, maybe with the eyes of a poet, you can change how so see your life, or a particular part of it, and even how you live and work.
We are all trying to gain new insights on how to improve our life, work, happiness, and all that it means to be a human being. My hope is that some of this poet’s thoughts may give you a new perspective, an usual idea, something you can make use of in your own lives. (I do many other kinds of work, which I will elaborate on and draw material from later, but for now, let’s see what the poet has to say that may speak to even those who don’t read poetry.)
In my mind this is what much writing, in any form, is really about. Its not just story, dialogue, theme, rhyme scheme, whatever. What a written work of art really is is a form of communication, intimate communication even, with people who would otherwise be strangers.
This is what reading did for me growing up an only child in a world I didn’t know how to fit into, and it is also what I hoped to do for others when I began to write.
That was years before the internet, and all it has done, good or bad, for communication, writers, and readers.
I started out writing journals, and have filled countless notebooks over a period of more than two decades. The next step of course is to share the more relevant of these thoughts with a wider audience. Hence, the web log, or journal, better known as a blog. This will be like my version of Emily Dickinson’s “letter to the world” but in my case I hope that some citizens of that world will write back to me. Your comments and thoughts are welcome.
I will set this one firm ground rule.: I think its a good way to approach all of life, but on the internet, when this is often not the way things are done, its especially important. ALL communication on this site will be kind, respectful, and profanity-free. Thank you for helping to make this an absolutely safe, positive place to share thoughts and ideas and to grow.
A lot of these posts will begin with something along the lines of : “On my walk today I saw/heard/thought …
Then I will go on to explain how something I noticed on my walk gave me an idea that seemed to apply to a larger area of life. Often what I read, and what I think about, on my walks and otherwise, will become material for what I write. And writing itself generates more thoughts, and the desire to read more.
They feed each other. And we, as thinking, reading, writing, walking humans also feed each other. Each unique perspective can give the rest of us some substance we can use and apply to our own life’s path.
Now, let’s try for a general definition, as a beginning.
This blog is partly about physical and mental health, especially as we deal with the challenges of growing older, and how walking and writing relate to them. It is also about new ways of thinking that could enrich our lives and work.
Just like a long walk with various paths to choose from, this blog will provide different views of life and work, different perspectives at different times, and will grow and change along the way, based partly on your feedback. So please, join me on the journey, and we’ll see where it takes us.
For now, I will try to post once a week, generally on Tuesdays. I hope you’ll keep coming back.
I’d love to hear your comments about what walking, both as physical act and metaphor, means to you and how it enriches your life and thoughts.