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October 26, 2014: The Writing Life: Big Ideas

I don’t know what the difference is between big ideas and big plans; I guess that big ideas are just ideas and plans are things that one first predetermines and then acts upon. Ideas beget plans. It’s the banking model of cognition – idealize now, plan later.

Yes, that’s it. I have to be careful that my ideas in regards to Lessons Learned (my latest book) do not become too grandiose; otherwise, I won’t finish this project. I’ll become overwhelmed by the possibilities and then spend less and less time working on it. Finally, I’ll scrap it. So I’m trying (pun intended) to rein myself in. At the same time, I’m also trying to keep the horse moving.

I’m now three quarters of the way through writing the second draft. In writing memoirs, generally, the narrator has an epiphany of sorts – one in which there is self-realization that changes self-perceptions. In Lessons Learned, I hit a low point during the Bald Mountain Butt Buster Competitive Trail Ride. (This is very true!) Raudi has done many things wrong, and we have not placed. This, after a summer’s lessons in the arena. I provide readers with a detailed account of this, one in which I write at length about our supposed failings. Here I despair of my achieving my goal of being less of a pushover. And I also despair of my ever coming to terms with my supposedly pushy horse.

This is as far as I’ve gotten. Before me are another nine pages of poorly written dispatches, ones in which there need to be a mental turn of events. I am thinking now about what actually happened, which was that the upswing occurred shortly after the BMBB CTR. It was then that I read Jane Savoie’s two books in which the subject is creative visualization. I say that in putting theory to practice, that I ultimately developed a more equitable relationship with Raudi.

I am not going to deny that I have had a problem. I let my horse walk all over me because I wanted her to like me. The important self-realizations occur during and after the early fall dressage schooling show, for it’s then that I see that I’ve changed for the better. During the spring and summer months, I kept a journal and wrote dictates, the audience for these writings being both myself and other horse owners. I list them, and then note that these are things that I now keep in mind when interacting with Raudi. The overall message is that if you have certain characteristics, you can, in using creative visualization techniques, bring about self-change.

As far as this book goes, I have a great deal left to do. I’m (for instance) going to need to develop my characters more fully. I’m also going to need to make better connections/transitions between chapters, by giving readers an idea, early on, as to what particulars I’m going to be exploring. I also am going to need to write about the very nature of group lessons, and how one should (when the opportunity presents itself) act upon what it is that they know about the subject matter. My audience then (ahh haaa -- this is big) is returning riders. I’m going to include sketches and sidebars, each one a short synopsis in which I provide information about the theorists who’ve informed my thinking.

My purposely limited framework is the Three Rivers Ranch arena setting. I venture out of it twice, first in doing the competitive trail ride, and secondly in doing the dressage schooling show. This limitation is good in that it keeps me from being all over the map.

Har har – the above makes it sound like I know what I’m doing. I feel like I’m attempting to walk on air, but thankfully, the air is holding firm.

Next: 287. 10/27/14: Coller-ahh