Monday, April 23, 2012

Sightseeing Is Like Writing

I went to Washington DC this past weekend. The occasion was my daughter's Swearing in Ceremony with the Department of State. Needless to say, we were proud and excited. But there was something else we did there. A lot of walking! And everything I do I relate to writing in some way.

I was wearing semi-dressy shoes for the ceremony. And we did a bit of walking while I had them on. Pretty shoes are great until you wake up with blisters on your feet. Yeah, like the high you get when writing that first draft. Then you go back and read it. Ugh.

That evening we went to the Lincoln Memorial. I was in comfy shoes, but the blisters were still forming. You know the first thing you see there? Steps. Lots of them. Huff your way up and you're wishing Abe would offer you his seat.

The next day we visited the Capitol. A lot of important gridlock takes place there. Writer’s block, anyone?

The Library of Congress is cool. What writer doesn’t want to be surrounded by books? (Am I the only one who thinks the reading room looks like Hogwarts?) But I absolutely loved the Bob Hope exhibit. It focuses more on politics than Bob, but I found it inspirational and nostalgic. And, oh yeah, I got to it by walking up stairs.

One thing that really stood out in DC was all the scaffolding. Repairs from last year’s earthquake. Repair, rewrite, repair, rewrite…same thing.

The last place we visited was the National Cathedral. I can’t help but compare it to writing. It took forever to build. There's a lot of intricacy. And it towers before you, swallowing you up. There’s a lot of praying involved too. I thought I was escaping those ever present evil stairs, but no, you have to go up and down them to get to the restrooms.

So the central theme here? Stairs. Lots of them. Heck, I even had to climb stairs to get to the Chili’s where I ate dinner last night. I did a lot of walking and a lot of stair climbing. The results? Sore calves! It’s an ouchy every time I take a step.

But walking and stair climbing is so much like writing. It’s painful. But in the end, it’s worth the effort.


  1. Ha ha, you're an obsessed writer, Dotti! Enjoyed the analogies. One day I shall visit Washington DC (most definitely). And once again, huge congrats to Dori.

  2. Lots of good points here. Hmmm . . . And the less often you toil up those long flights of stairs the harder the climb gets? And also that the long flights of stairs are actually there to intimidate you, teach you respect and possibly bring you humbly to your knees? (A thought that came to me and my knees at the Doges Palace, Venice recently.)


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