I just finished listening to about seven minutes’ worth of the recorded ramblings of a possibly delusional man: myself, on my lunch hour today.
In my ceaseless effort to figure out a balance between time spent exercising and time spent on my writing work, I may well have found the ideal solution — at least for the half-dozen months of the year when I can walk three miles in the middle of my daily office gig without breaking a sweat.
I’ve begun using the audio recorder function on my cellphone to take notes as I think through a project while walking. Last week, it was a picture book manuscript I’ll call Charlie. Today, it was one I’ll call Bell.
The audio quality is horrid, though no tougher to decipher than my handwriting when I jot my thoughts down in a notepad. What’s surprising is how much more effectively my mind seems to wander when I’m not actually writing than it does when I’ve got pen or keyboard in hand. A story that seemed awkward and complicated and didactic when I set out today felt light and simple and streamlined 45 minutes later.
But as with all brainstorming, some of it doesn’t hold up over time, not even a few hours later. Today’s great notion to preface my picture book with a quote from Donald Rumsfeld? Well, perhaps even in February I underestimated the strength of the noonday Texas sun.