I live in the mountains of southern California, and I often go for hikes on the trails behind our home. One day I was mid-step when I noticed the baby rattler below my feet. I finished my step and raced down the mountain. I swear, that baby rattler was chasing me (hubby thinks I'm crazy and dramatic, but that's a topic for another day).
Since then, I've kept my head down when I'm hiking. I'm on the lookout for coyotes, bobcats, and the snake who is now probably full grown and wants to kill me (See? I'm not dramatic at all).
Last week I was hiking with my eyes trained on the ground for danger when I realized I was missing out. By keeping my head down, looking for peril, I was ignoring the beautiful surroundings. The rolling green hills, the brand new poppies sprouting through the rich soil, and the breeze whispering through the sage.
So what does this have to do with writing? I tend to obsess over manuscripts, keeping my head down and reworking the words until they're just right. When I do this, I miss out on the view that surrounds me.
Our writing trails may be rutted and rocky, and we'll experience hills and valleys, but sometimes it's too easy to focus on the dirt and miss the wild flowers. A. Victoria Mixon offers this profound advice in an interview: life, have one.
How about you? Do you sometimes keep your head down, working hard, and forget to look up and enjoy the scenery?