Some thoughts on writing and riding.

I’m a writer who lives in Kelowna, Canada. I have another strange addiction besides writing, and it’s riding my road bike. Riding clears my head. It lets me sort out stories, or see things that have been hiding in my own confusion.

The other day I put on my bike gear, yes I wear the Spandex, with what I call the padding or “Depends,” in the seat and headed down the hill. To start my ride I descend 500 feet towards the valley floor.

The start of the ride is a rush. Wind blows, trees rush by, and I’m doing 40KM (25MPH) down the hill. The beauty of speed on a bike, is you have to control it. If you don’t, you can lose control and crash.

That sounds like my writing to me. I sometimes write so fast, with the words hitting the page, and my ideas bouncing around that what comes out isn’t recognizable. I need to slow down, and find a speed that lets me enjoy what I’m doing, yet gets me to my goal.

My ride takes me through these fantastic orchards and vineyards. The peaches are ripe. They’re falling off the trees now their so heavy. The apples are starting to hit perfection. They are shades of green, yellow and red as they get ready. The wine grapes are getting heavy, and purple, and full. Every day the farmers are amongst the vines testing them, to see when they’ll hit perfection.

But the thing about the wine growers is they’ve been in those vineyards since February. They were pruning, they were making sure their vines would be ready. So much work they’ve put in, just to get these grapes off in September, and ready for the crush in October.

To me, this is so much like writing. The final book or manuscript you see has taken a writer months if not years to prepare. You see the final product. You haven’t seen what never made it to print. Some writing and books never make it at all. Kind of what falls to the ground in the orchards as I ride by.

I’m working on too many things these days. A new thriller book finished, and sitting in the hard drive needing a final review. A memoir is almost finished and needs two final chapters to then sit before final polish, and my second Novel is with a formatting company getting all shined up and ready to be uploaded to Amazon.

I find like most people, to do one thing at a time, and just do it well it best, but then I get bored with doing just that one thing. The ADD in me? Perhaps it is, but sometimes multiple projects works well. Getting fresh insights as you move from one thing to another can be good as well.

My bike rides always end with me climbing back up the hill I came down. The road winds up, and seems unrelenting. I have to gear down on my bike, take it slow, and just find a speed that works and go with it. Not to fast that it will tire me out, and not too slow that I lose balance.

Now that is truly like writing. Have you every found yourself in between a rock and hard place in your writing? You have no idea how you wrote yourself into that space, and not sure how to get yourself out. Here is my advice for what it’s worth. Just take it slow, but move forward. Just one word at a time.

Your muse, your creativity will find your way forward. You just need to let it find it’s way for you. You have to let it help you. I guess like the old cliché “it’s just like riding bike!” You know it as soon as you get on.

I wish everyone a wonderful day, great writing, and a great life.

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Lyle Nicholson is the author of four novels, two novellas and a short story, as well as several articles published in Canadian Magazines and Newspapers. His path to his writing was first as a terrible actor in a Johnny Cash movie, called Gospel Road. He played Andrew the Apostle and apologizes to all who see him in the movie.
He was also a disobedient monk for several years and left the monastery to work at several jobs he’d was highly unsuccessful at until he started his own sales agency, where he finally had success. This was to the delight of his wife and his mother.
He retired in 2011 and took up writing full time. He now lives with his lovely wife in Kelowna, where he writes, cooks and indulges in fine wines.