When I was 17, I went with my sixth form college on a geography trip to Chamonix in the Alps. While we were there we did a series of walks, and our guide told us – a group of slightly whiny 16 and 17 year olds – to do what she called ‘the Alpine Plod’: simply put one foot in front of another, then the next one forward, and repeat. Don’t look up, don’t think about how much you have to do, just focus on the next 5 minutes and deal with the next steps when you get there.
My book writing has very much reached this ‘plodding’ stage. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve struggled with inspiration a little, not helped by disruption form various sources. I slipped behind on my word count a few weeks ago, though as of the end of last week I’d brought it back up and have the time in my schedule this week to hopefully keep progress up. My Alpine Plod has been to achieve my weekly writing goal, and so far that seems to be working.
I’ve found it interesting that the hardest writing has been the material that I know well – that on the night-time economy in the UK. I’ve really had to slog my way through it: I think that I’m a little tired on the material. It’s also difficult to write concisely on a topic that I know so much about – how I select what’s relevant here is very different to researching an area in order to discover more about it. By contrast, I’ve really enjoyed learning more about Taiwan’s night markets today – I’ve been aware of these for a while, but this is the first time I’ve really explored them (Shuenn-Der Yu’s chapter on them in the book ‘The Minor Arts of Daily Life‘ was useful on the topic).