For the last few months, I’ve had a lot of stress and tension in my left shoulder. It’s been painful, causing headaches at times and radiating pain down my arm at others. I got massages, I rubbed Vicks Vap-o-Rub onto my shoulder at nights, heating pads, aspirin, yoga…

And now it’s the winter break and I don’t have to work for a while and the tension has melted away.

For months, I’ve been hesitant to write, guidebooks or fiction or anything salable except my hiking book – and even that took a while to get off the ground. But for the last week and a half I’ve been chipping away at the Chamberlain guidebook. It’s actually pretty close to finished – the text portion. There’s still going to be a few pictures, an overall map thing and a list of which topographic maps to use and where to get them. But the tricky part is nearly done.

And I’ve done the writing by giving myself a small, achievable goal. 250 words per day. Easy to finish on the nights I really don’t want to do any writing. Easy to exceed on the nights that I feel like writing more.

For some reason, it’s easier for me to get my butt to the writing chair in the evening. I don’t tend to do it during the day. I should – I’m generally awake more hours during the day, especially when I’m working. But the night is the time for writing, I don’t know why. The darkness puts the screen into perspective.

Maybe I need a windowless writing room where I can escape to and turn out the lights to emulate the feeling of night writing. Although, part of it might be that when I’m tired I stop stopping myself from writing. I stay up late and let go. Too tired to pay attention to self criticism.

I have to consider, giving the timing, that the reason I’m relaxing isn’t just because I’m not going to work this week. It could also be that I’m getting my writing done. I’m making progress on my words every day, and re-living my two hikes in the Chamberlain Basin at the same time.

It’s actually pretty relaxing.

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