Photo: Adrian Swancar
The best parts of being a writer is having an excuse to craft the most outlandish metaphors. I could liken rock climbing to drawing, for instance, because it’s all about learning the little techniques that’ll make up the larger picture (heh) that is your art.
Or I could link running and writing, because you’ll never see your improvement in your day-to-day, but do it long enough and you’ll be able to see how far (heh heh) you’ve progressed.
Having said that, boy do I have the metaphor for today’s topic.
Photo: Joshua Newton
I’M GOING TO START THIS STORY OFF WITH A BANG. ALL CAPS BABY. WHOOOO!
How did that sound in your head? Did it feel like I was shouting at you?
How about now? More reasonable? Good. You’re probably wondering what this is all about. I promise I’ll get to that in a bit.
But first, let me pose you this question. Have you ever had a calling? Or has your conscience ever spoken to you? Maybe gave you a couple pointers that seemed outlandish at first, but started making sense after a week?
Photo: Deon Black
“Hey, any idea what’s cool to do around here?”
The woman I’d just spoken to held her book closer to her chest, sidestepping away like a crab. No reply, no smile. In fact, she scrunched her face as if I smelled like goat droppings.
I still cringe at the memory of me talking up to random girls in the shopping mall, just because I’d gotten a copy of The Game during my young adulthood, and I thought it that it would be the key to my relationship problems.
Spoiler alert: it wasn’t.
Photo: Jodie Cook
You know I used to idolise the freelance life. I wanted the remote lifestyle, my own hours, and the freedom from fluorescent-bathed cubicles.
And I would get a taste of the digital nomad lifestyle, but me being me, I would also get bored of it real quick.
Back then, I used to whine to anyone who’d listen, and seeing as to how my friends were way more responsible than me, my complaints often fell on deaf ears.
“What’s the problem?” a friend once said. “At least you get to stay home.”
“Yeah,” I’d tell them, “but I work just as hard at ho—”
“And you don’t need to spend time and money on your commute. You lucky guy, you.”
“That’s a solid point for sure, but—”
“It must be great to schedule your own time. If I were you, I’d spend my days working at cafes.”
“But work is work—”
“You’re so lucky.”
Photo: Magnet Me
You know the ‘write a shitty first draft’ advice? It’s actually connected to a host of other practices—do your morning pages, keep a journal, use the Pomodoro technique—and today we’re going to explore another related technique.
I’m sure this technique already exists with a different name, but for the sake of this post, I’ll christen it the Hunter Gatherer Method™, because that’s what you’ll essentially be doing, and that’s going out into the literary savannahs and bringing back the food that is your writing ideas.