Some Things I Did (And One Thing I Didn’t Do) In 2022
That was a hell of a year, wasn’t it? I don’t normally write posts looking back on the year, but as this has been a year of doing and changing for me — as well as somehow, and I’m still not entirely believing it, turning fifty — I wanted to put it all into one place.
So, here we go:
Walking — yes, yes, this was the year I walked the Camino Frances, and you can read all the detail of that here, here and in other things I’m yet to write. But it’s been about more than just that one walk. I’ve done over 5.6 million steps this year, and for the first time ever have averaged over 10,000 steps a day during every month of the year. I started doing serious amounts of walking in August 2021 and it became a way for me to prepare for the Camino, but in keeping it going when I’ve got back it’s become more than that.
I think back to doing the end-to-end walk, and how I didn’t keep up the rhythm and regularity of my walking after that, so whatever mental and physical gains I made on that slipped away. Now, I’m making sure I keep putting regular walks into my days, keeping myself moving and giving myself the space to think, breathe and just relax. And when I’ve finished this post I’m going to start planning tomorrow’s first long walk of the year!
Writing — the main resolution that came out of walking the Camino was to take my writing more seriously. I made that decision and commitment to focus on it and actually put the effort in to try and make it something I do for a living — or a major part of one, at least.
Taking it seriously isn’t just about writing more — though you can read about my excavation draft if you want more on that side of the process — but thinking of it as a craft and a skill. Rather than thinking that because I’ve been writing in various forms for years there’s nothing I need to learn, I’ve approached the task with some humility about my own ability. I don’t know everything, or even a noticeable fraction of everything, so I’ve taken some time to develop my skills thanks to courses through the National Centre for Writing and City Lit as well as more reading about writing, of which Write It All Down and Steering…