Live first, then write.
I have a checklist of three non-negotiable things I’m supposed to do every day:
Walking used to be the most difficult one, but now I live in New York City so I spend quite a bit of time walking no matter what, and then I go on brief walks during or after work. Check.
Reading is also easy now. I read on the way to work on the train and on the way back. Sometimes I read more when I get home. Check.
Writing, however, is tough. Particularly today. I just realized—I have nothing notable from today to write about.
That’s not entirely true. There are things to write from days past that I haven’t mentioned because I don’t want to publish certain things on the internet. But today was a pretty empty day, and it’s my own fault. At work, I kept to myself most of the day. I didn’t go on a walk for lunch since it was raining, and I went straight home instead of taking a walk after work. The absence of any real exploration leads to a bland day to write about.
And now, I’m in a city where I have no excuse. I could meet a new person every single day at Union Square if I made it a goal, and I could write about those people. I could go into new stores all the time, take walks in all sorts of neighborhoods and sections of this city, but today I did not choose to make the world my playground.
Tomorrow: Explore, see, and write. If I live before any of those tasks, writing will become a lot easier to check off the list.