Montana

My Journey Out West and Within

The beautiful mountains of Montana!

I’m getting ready to head over to Idaho and Montana to do some research for the novel I’m writing. I’m excited for the adventure, but most of all I’m proud to be taking my writing this seriously.

Last year I was hesitant about spending $300 on a writing course, now I’m spending twice that just on the rental car for this trip. Someone, and I can’t remember who, once said, “show me your calendar and your bank account and I’ll tell you what’s important to you.” I got to a point where I realized that I wanted to be a writing but I wasn’t backing up that claim with time or money. Not only is this trip going to help crystallize the details of my novel, it is a symbolic gesture of my commitment to the craft; a honeymoon for me and my writer-self.

I can’t wait to share more about it in upcoming posts. Wish me luck!

Jumping into an Open Mind

Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed in the O...

Reynolds Creek southwest of Boise, Idaho.  (Wikipedia)

My reward for finishing the first draft of my novel is a trip to Idaho; however, I wasn’t that excited about going to Idaho. Correction: I’m really scared to go to Idaho. In my story, the main character visits a fictitious big cat (cougars, lynx and bobcats) sanctuary in northern Idaho in late January by herself. My idea was to recreate the trip. It was very easy to come up with excuses not to go:

  • I don’t know anyone in Idaho
  • Plane tickets are expensive
  • It’s still the first year of marriage, I can’t go on a trip by myself!
  • There’s no guarantee my book will get published so this is a lot of time and money to spend on a potential hobby

Last week I decided, what the heck, I’m going to buy those tickets. Here’s how I responded to those excuses:

  • People are friendly; I’ll just stop in different dinners along the way and introduce myself as a curious writer.
  • Yes, plane tickets are expensive (about $600 to Boise), but a ticket to Spokane, Washington, which is closer to my ideal location anyway, is only $250.
  • Ok, the marriage excuse is just ridiculous. I’m scraping the barrel of excuses here.
  • My writing will certainly remain a hobby if I don’t take it seriously. My book takes place in Idaho so how can I possibly not go to Idaho?!?

A funny thing happened as soon as I stopped making excuses, and bought the ticket: opportunities began to appear. My brother’s sister’s college friend said she’d host me in Missoula, Montana (only a 4 hour drive from Spokane). She also said I could visit her parents in Idaho. I found another person who works with wolves who said she’d meet with me.

By opening up my search to Washington and Montana I made this trip possible. My advice to anyone who’s making excuses: keep an open mind and leap whenever possible.