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My perfect day is a day of writing and reading and nothing. A page or two of delicious story, and then an open book while swinging in the backyard or rocking in the cool of the house.

(Rocking as in sitting in a rocking chair, not dancing or playing guitar. Just to be clear.)

I always imagine that with enough of these perfect days, I could read everything in my to-be-read pile of books and finish all the novels I have in my head. But there’s a problem with “perfect days” and the problem is that too many of them make your life about writing and reading all the time . And while reading and writing all the time is SUPER GREAT, it doesn’t make for an interesting story.

Sometimes, you have to do other stuff, the stuff stories are made of, in order to have anything to write about. You have to live some stories in order to have stories.

I mean, of course you could closet yourself away in the attic all the time and write about imagined adventures. You don’t have to see or experience the world in order to write about a breathtaking variety of sights and experiences.

It helps me, though. On the perfect day, when I’m sitting under the maple tree and I have nothing to do but write, I sometimes find I’m empty. The words just aren’t there. Like they got bored and ran away.

So I get up and chase them. I visit a park or a nature center and pretend I’m a ranger. I find a crazy friend to hang out with and we argue about politics and the end of the world. I embark on quests to distant lands, like Indiana or the Upper Peninsula or Florida or Dallas. I go to a play or a concert or a party or a movie or a restaurant and eavesdrop on strangers. I ride my bike on trails alongside cornfields and train tracks and pretend I’m flying or galloping on horseback. I walk around town to look at the taverns and castles and mysterious temples.

I find something to slay, something to rescue, something to wonder at.

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Some days, you should not write. Instead, you should have an adventure.