A Walk for the Words: 3 Things [+ 1] Every Writer Taking a Stroll Must Know!
Every writer taking a stroll either to clear their heads or hunt stories needs to read this beautiful piece by Eboquills Contributing Editor (Prose); Kasim, Shalom.
Ever had the plight of looking for the inspiration to complete a piece, in weird places, times, and ways? As a writer, you have to realize that the full writing does not generate where the inspiration starts; the end of the story is miles away from where the first inspiration hits. This is one of the best discoveries to make as a writer who strives for excellence in the writing profession.
Sometimes, I go to markets, churches, and mosques, just in search of where the end of my story is hidden, and because the end of a story always stays hidden at a distance of miles away from the beginning, it remains the greatest task of the writer to discover where the ‘remains’ of the whole is. Schools, markets, forests, botanical gardens, and federal highways have been my most favoured places in my quest to discover where the end of my story is.
Want to Avoid Unfruitful Story-Hunts? What to Do
When in search of these ends, the most frustrating thing would be to retire without getting any progress. Writers who take long strolls (like me) would definitely be aggressive after a long walk without finding anything close to their quest. This isn’t haphazard. E geh why.
You have to stop being a writer to get these ends you want for your story! Below is the breakdown of how you do it:
1. Forget the looks of your profession!
First off, which clothes did you wear on the day of your induction as a writer? A flowing gown, a graduation gown, or a tuxedo-like suit with Louis and Vuitton? When you show up at events where you have a function as a renowned freelancer, what do you wear─ writer glasses, a monkey-jacket, or a pair of Italian VV shoes?
If you really are not aimed at courting attention to yourself and getting people suspicious of you, dubbing you a mad person, at least, you needn’t dress as if it were another of your induction!
I [have] use[d] glasses [from a much tender age, until now], the type of glasses my friends would jest me as looking too ‘professorial’, which I have to wear almost 24 hours a day─ from work, to the kitchen and bathroom─, except at night. Each time I step out on my long strolls to my favourite spots, I hate to, but have to wear my glasses because they are medically prescribed, with my hands folded behind me, at my waist, on my long, black, jallabiya. People are mostly surprised to see someone walking, hands folded behind him, on a pair of medicated glasses, and a long jallabiya, walking in hot, cooling sun. Sometimes, I stop, peek at a person or scene, scribble hastily in my notebook, or smile a long, wide smile that would last about 7-10 seconds, and resume walking. All these, while groups of adults look at me, speculating what I may be up to. In the minds of many of them, I may be some random criminal looking out for the next thing or person to pounce on. I recall a lot of hostile reactions that I have got from these groups, and the day I was asked to “never follow this road again, or you will see pepper!”
As much as you can help it, do not go out as a writer looking too serious, official, and hard to approach. You would end up being one other silly suspect, an overweening police officer, or the victim of an angry mob bent on finding the culprit behind the mysterious disappearance of a child a few weeks ago.
A tracksuit, a tee (see our Eboquills store for quality writers’ tees), and a pair of casual footwear would do the magic than being all formally dressed up and having no chance to find the end of your story.
2. Maintain Social Etiquette.
When walking a busy spot as a writer in search of your story’s end, you should respect the etiquette, or you may end up being the end of another writer’s story!
Roads are meant for people who are going from, to; do not occupy a space and own it. You must appear to be going from, to.
Respect the leaders of tomorrow or they could get you stopped today. When taking a walk, you’re not the only person on the road; the leaders of tomorrow are there too, so, do not be oblivious of children, from those crossing to or from schools, to those begging and hawking. They are the leaders of tomorrow, so you have to follow them today! Don’t talk to any child, except the ones you know: no one wouldn’t describe an idle person walking from nowhere to nowhere as a kidnapper.
If you can, if your muse agrees, form a pattern of sticking to a spot or a favourite path for a stroll. Always take the road you took to, back home. Get friends as you pass these favourite spots¬─ from the vendor, to the woman who sells corn by the roadside, and the man who picks trash. For every time you take a stroll, make it a habit to patronise one of your friends. Don’t forget to tell them you’re out again today, until they begin to be the first to tell you that! Respond with a loud laugh, a thumbs-up, and an order for their wares.
Do not ever leave home without your wallet! Ever. Your wallet contains cash (do you know when an emergency would demand you to rush back home?); your ATM card[s] (you wouldn’t be carrying all your earnings as a freelancer with you in raw cash, would you?); and your I.D cards (you don’t know how long you have been watched suspiciously and when you would be required to identify yourself. While any means of identity would serve, endeavour to go with any ID card that identifies you as a freelancer, or as a writer, at least. This would save you millions, literally.)
3. To get home safely, don’t play the detective.
Except with your friends who you stop by to get stuff for your stroll, don’t play the detective if you want to get back home safely. Don’t ask who owns the big shop in front of the mosque; don’t ask for the house of the richest person or his name; don’t ask if the camel outside his house belongs to him, or if he eats pork! Just do your thing, and get back home to your family. You would discover the fun, only when you escape the threats and dangers.
+1 (for Female Writers)
Writing is a hard task. As a hard task, it requires you to do some hard thinking, which deep concentration alone can offer. As you set out for this concentration, pay attention to the points we have listed above. Remember to carry your complimentary cards along for male detractors who can’t resist the sight of ‘a beautiful, gorgeous sweetheart, who’s all alone by herself, bereft of love’. Smile to them, hand out your complimentary card with your work number printed boldly on it, and continue walking. When they call, they would not be calling the beautiful lady they met, but the office of a renowned freelancer! While at home, after dinner, relaxing on the top of your roof, being rocked to and fro, laugh over it with your man, and tell him to come along with you next time, should you jam another writer on stroll!
You don’t need only time and a place, to go strolling as a writer: every writer taking a stroll need their brains and a pint of sense! You’ve gat the brains, we thought to give you a pint of sense. I mean, aren’t we your creative sweethearts?
Happy and safe story-hunts on your next stroll!