One thing that most people don’t know or don’t believe about me is that I’ve been riding ATVs since I was ten years old. I can perform donuts in the gravel and snow (which I like to call “powdered donuts”), and I once flipped an ATV into a bean field (I was uninjured except for some bruises). I challenged a friend’s brothers to a race and won, but not without getting my face coated with dirt—my nickname was “Dust Storm” for the rest of the day.
“You’re too girly to be riding ATVs!” the skeptics exclaim, and their assessment is mostly accurate. I douse myself in perfume every day, I adore jewelry, and I’m always wearing a floral pattern. I’m generally not an outdoorsy person and I can’t stand getting filthy. I don’t have a tomboyish streak either.
My dad is a mechanic, so my fondness for ATVs could partially be due to my upbringing, but beyond that the reason is personal.
My creative engine easily gets overtaxed, causing it to shut down. But as I whiz through the grass with fluffy clouds drifting overhead and the sun’s rays illumining the scenery around me, my brain shifts into exploration mode. The ATV’s motor drowns out all other sounds, and the only distractions are ground squirrels or rabbits that occasionally dart across my path. Without even trying, the wheels in my mind start turning—randomly at first, but then I’m able to steer my introspection toward pressing concerns. The words and solutions which had seemed so elusive when I was sitting at my desk are suddenly reachable.
While riding, I’ve mulled over problems, prayed, mourned losses, analyzed book plots, mentally drafted e-mails, and contrived story ideas. When I’m aboard an ATV, I feel capable of anything, and if I had a device that could record my thoughts I would probably have written ten books via that method by now. Sometimes I lapse into such deep concentration that I run into or over an object (which is not advisable).
We all need a place we can retreat to, or a pastime that relieves tension. For writers, it can mean the difference between finishing and failing. When you step away from your work, you won’t have that blank page glaring at you or a calendar to remind you of a deadline you must meet. If you’re an introvert, you’ll prefer solitary hobbies—bicycling, walking the dog, baking cookies, or reading. If you’re an extrovert, an activity that involves interacting with others might be more stimulating—an impromptu basketball game with family, a writing conference, or a shopping trip with friends. Whatever rejuvenates you, embrace it, and don’t fret that you’re wasting time—you’re just repairing your broken spark (idea) plugs.
Brianna Storm Hilvety was born with a rumble in her veins. She finds the tap of a keyboard to be soothing like the pitter-patter of rain. She has been a writer for a decade, a freelance editor for a few years, and a bibliophile from the moment she pronounced her first syllable. Proudly a Silver Member of The Christian PEN, she serves on their team as graphics coordinator. When she isn’t poring over words, she may be spotted shooting her Canon, riding The Breeze (an all-terrain vehicle), or romping with her dog, Zookie. Purple is her signature color, and she refuses to recognize all other claims to it.
To explore her realm or request a free, word-sharpening sample edit, visit: www.TheLiteraryCrusader.com