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January 13, 2018: The Writing Life: The Gift of a Good Ride

I had another ideas day today. I also had a major revelation about the nature of ideas. I have up until this point in time focused on what ideas have occurred to me. Today I realized that my self-perception, that I generate ideas exclusively, has been too narrow in focus.

I am the source of some ideas. But then more often or not, I share my ideas with others who then assist me in pushing their boundaries. Or, they share ideas with me, and I assist them in pushing their boundaries. My working with others collaboratively is something I do often. I just hadn’t acknowledged this. For example, I’m constantly sharing my writing-related ideas by Pete and my horse-related ideas by my friend Sarah. And vice versa.

I did some collaborative ideas sharing today with my friend and mentor Susan Harris. It was the most insightful collaborative effort that I’ve ever engaged in. I just generally wanted to run my proposal idea by her to see what she thought. That was all. Well, together, Susan and I took the bull by the horns and ran with it, for three hours. I was really touched because Susan is a busy woman and could not have had this much time to spare.

Rdiing the Divide in Colorado
Rdiing the Divide in Colorado

The focus of our very free-wheeling and exceedingly associative conversation centered around the proposed title of my book, The Gift of a Good Ride. What followed was much like what happened in determining the suitability of the title for the recycling book. Carole Henry at VCRS and I talked at length about If You Come to a Fork in the Road Pick it Up. This title, like that title, simply took on a greater significance.

I originally thought of the title, The Gift of a Good Ride in appropriate but limited terms. This, I said in my proposal, is the ride that the balanced, agile, and free-moving horse gives the rider when they’re centered. We of course, talked about horses and how we can assist them in giving us good rides. Too much or too little intervention – it’s a fine line we walk, every time we interact with them.

In talking, Susan and I began talking about this title in more all-encompassing terms. The good ride is literal, yes, but at the same time, figurative. The journey we’re all on is the ride. Sometimes the ride is good, and sometimes it’s not so good. You have to have both. We also looked at the good ride in terms of our relations with others. Say you are obsessed with being the best mountain climber in the world. You marry, you have kids. Should you give up the prospect of your good ride, say summiting the Everest, because you have other responsibilities?

I came away from the conversation thinking about my own life in terms of the good ride. Have I had a good ride thus far? I’d say yes because I have not been deterred from doing what I most want to do, which is to write. And I’d say that right now I’m on a good ride with this proposal. It was an okay ride before I talked with Susan. However, the intense collaboration made it an even better ride.

Next: 14. 1/14/19: The Writing Life: The Defining Moment

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