We’re one step closer to bidding 2011 goodbye. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since I wrote last November’s State of the Savage from Argentina, but then again time seems to always flummox and confound those who study it. I’m one year into my allotted two-year sojourn to make Traveling Savage into a new career. How is it going?
I recently described my state of mind to a friend as “feeling like I’m stuck in a rut in the middle of limitless forest for as far as the eye can see.” Okay, that’s a bit redundant, but it shows the strength of the feeling. I continue to write about my escapades in Scotland and plan new trips, but I have always had the long view of life, and if belief in the financial sustainability of a venture fades so increases the feeling of its frivolousness.
Something needs to change.
I spend a lot of time brainstorming ideas of new but related directions to pursue. Most are crap but some have merit. Then a weird thing happens. I don’t feel any passion or excitement for the ideas. There’s some force, some inertia stopping me from giving them a shot, and so they languish in the junk drawer of my mind. I need some grand idea, some grand work to pursue that capitalizes on the excruciatingly small window where my skills and knowledge intersect.
I need a muse. Is Calliope available?
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield has become my pre-sleep companion thanks to the fine taste of Mike Sowden over at Fevered Mutterings. I believe Mr. Pressfield is the first person to give a name to that innate self-sabotaging force: the Resistance. I recognized it from Seth Godin’s Lynchpin and I recognize it as the foe with which I’m currently locked in creative combat. It’s kicking my ass and my shins and laughing at me. I’m not “doing the work” as Pressfield puts it.
People (mostly my family) tell me I should write a book. My Resistance says, “about what?” Am I kidding me?
My friend responded to my redundant rut-forest comment with a gem: “Perhaps your limitless forest is a dazzling Lothlorien-esque magical land full of as-yet-unknown limitless possibilities rather than a depressing Fangorn-esque forest where no light penetrates and dangerous pitfalls abound?”
My Resistance is not happy.
Plans & Happenings
Last month I talked about a possible trip to Nova Scotia happening in the first quarter of 2012. Perhaps obviously, that’s not the best time to visit Maritime Canada so I’m keeping that trip in my back pocket for now. I’ve got two non-work-related trips to Florida in the span of a month in December and January, which will be sweet respite from Wisconsin’s hardcore winters.
On the Traveling Savage front, I’m currently hammering out itineraries for 2-3 week trip to Scotland in late April/early May specifically to hit the Speyside Whisky Festival. This trip would also likely include a drive up the coast from Inverness – stopping at distilleries – all way to Orkney where I’d spend a few days. Finally, I’m thinking about including some time in the Borders and Dumfries & Galloway in addition to the requisite couple days in Edinburgh or Glasgow. Did I mention my Dad’s coming (and maybe others)?
Before this trip, however, I’m considering another few weeks in either Glasgow or Edinburgh sometime in March. The summer is looking really busy from a non-work perspective with several weddings in the mix so I need to figure out when I can actually afford to be gone traveling. I loved my three weeks in Edinburgh earlier this year and I could vary a similar trip with more jaunts to surrounding places. I’m considering tacking on a five-day stop in Barcelona at the end of this with Sarah where we can re-up our love of Spain and reconnect with those motorhoming mavens over at Technomadics.
I’ve always believed that I’m a short-form writer and that a book-length project was beyond my ability. I have no evidence to support this belief, so I’m forced to confront the fact that I’m simply scared of undertaking such a project. I’m starting to believe that doing only what’s known and comfortable is the fast track to a boring life. The Resistance hates it when you do what you’re scared to do. So do it.
The enemy of your enemy…and all that. What are you not doing because you’re scared to do it?