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  • Pamela Beason

Just Do It!

Not long ago, a friend invited me to go out snowshoeing in the moonlight. Although that sounded inviting, it meant having to cut out early when I was in the midst of different contract jobs, as well as having to gather my winter gear, don all that heavy clothing, and trek about 50 miles up into the mountains with my companions. So I seriously thought about just staying home and having a glass of wine and not making the effort. That would have been a lot easier.

Boy, am I glad I did not listen to that devil of laziness whispering in my ear! On the mountain, the moon was a brilliant lamp in the heavens. The ridges were crisp against the cobalt sky, the stars danced, the snow glittered, and a chinook wind made the high country warmer than my backyard at sea level. Six of us climbed up to a ridge and surveyed Mount Baker to the south, North Cascades National Park to the east, and waves of mountains undulating into the distance as far as we could see to the north and west. A meteor flashed across the sky. The experience was magical.

When I plan to go hiking or kayaking or scuba diving, I frequently have the same experience. Right before I go, it seems like a lot of needless work. It would be easier to stay home. But when I force myself to get my gear together and get out there, 99% of the time I am so glad I made the effort. (The other 1% has typically involved some sort of disaster that at least makes good fodder for my novels.)

It’s like that being an author, too–it’s darn hard work to write a novel. This past year I've been distracted by familial duties and chores that had to be done with little assistance during quarantine restrictions, so it's been hard to sit down and focus on my next Sam Westin mystery. But just like snowshoeing in the moonlight or kayaking or scuba diving, I know it will be a worthwhile experience once I start again, and even better when I've finished.

My advice to everyone who thinks they’d like to do something but feels like it might be too much effort: Slap that little devil of laziness away from your ear and get out there and do it!

These days, I have to remind myself that I'm not a writer unless I actually write.

So now, I'm taking my own advice and sitting in my desk chair and focusing my imagination on wolverines and avalanches in the North Cascades.

Whatever you've been putting off because it seems like too much effort, just do it!

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