Are you debating a life change but find the step that will alter your day-to-day intimidating? If you are a writer or aspire to write, allow me to offer some words of encouragement to help you make the dreaded move.
In my experience, it is easier to create when one’s environment presents the unfamiliar or unexpected with some degree of regularity. Before we moved to our present address, my wife and I knew the San Francisco Bay area had offered up nearly everything it could for us. She was born there and I had lived there thirty-eight years. Further, we had reached a point where the negatives were outweighing the positives—probably the best gauge of when the time to relocate has arrived. Every day we came home angry. People were rude, our world was increasingly congested and life was no longer fun. In addition, after three years of searching for another location, our present home kept landing squarely in our laps to the point we could no longer ignore it. Cars, foods, commercials and news stories all said Santa Fe, were all called Santa Fe or else referred to Santa Fe. After several visits, we took the plunge and I, for one, could not be happier. Our days are filled with change—for the most part for the better:
Going to fetch the mail after work, I encounter a juvenile pronghorn antelope grazing. Or I exit our driveway on an ice cream run one night and a great horned owl takes flight from atop a neighbor’s mailbox, leading me to the end of the street, its five foot wingspan gray and ghostly in the wash of the headlamps. On another occasion, during a conversation, I spy a bobcat strolling along a neighbor’s fence.
Most days hold a surprise or two. Even the landscape and sky cause me to catch my breath. And though my novels may depict cityscapes and urban issues, I no longer suffer writer’s block. The sheer diversity, drama and novelty of my daily experience constantly propels my thoughts down unexpected avenues. You see, it is the stale mind that cannot write—a mind bogged down by the mundane.
If you find yourself frequently stuck, alter your life any way you can. The change you select need not be as dramatic as ours was, but it must occur. If you live in a city, drive to the country. If you are a country dweller, spend as much time as possible in an urban setting. Go for walks. Take a vacation. Change your job. Start dating. Learn to dance. Catch a concert. Be imaginative. Find new sights, new sounds, new inspiration. Live differently!