Going the Distance

To get to a large grocery store, a gas station with un-inflated prices, or to pick up a pizza (not from a cafe that incidentally offers pizza), I drive 17 miles to a neighboring town. It boasts a population of 4,348—six times the size of the undisclosed location where I’m enjoying my sabbatical. The drive is gorgeous!

Hint #11 — Lewis and Clark most likely saw this view when they were blazing a trail through this neck of the woods.

When I arrived with an already-started manuscript, I calculated how many words I’d need to write each day to go the distance; to complete it in three months. It requires 1,000 words per day, not counting Tuesdays, or two short visits from Len when we goof off the entire time.

For many people, writing 1,000 words per day is child’s play. Not for me. Even in a near-hermit existence with solitude as my companion, 1,000 words per day—that aren’t gobbledegook—is quite an undertaking, but I’m going the distance.

What is your most recent “going the distance” experience?

Reminder, the caveat of the Looking for Laurie game stipulates: “The first person to type the accurate city and state of my sabbatical location into the comments section of the Mar 28 post will receive a personalized copy of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth for themselves or as a gift to someone else.”

© lauriebuchanan.com

61 thoughts on “Going the Distance

  1. Recently I registered for an on-line course to brush up the rules of Orthography and Grammar in Spanish and I’ve succeeded at finishing it in record time. I can write quite quickly but it depends on the topic. Good luck, Laurie (and the place looks great!)

  2. For my last book, The World of the American Revolution, there were several topics that were not covered by other authors or entries that I had to rewrite. As I was facing a deadline, I researching and writing 1,000 words a day for many days. I have two books with deadlines getting near, so I anticipate some definite “going the distance” weeks coming up. 🙂

  3. I have gone the 800-mile distance from Florida to Pennsylvania. My wings are tired from flying so far.

    Laurie, I think my hunch that you are somewhere in the Pacific Northwest is correct. Blessings as you finish your course! 😉

  4. I put out six news-magazines a year. Every single one seems like an enormous, insurmountable task. I think of the writing as the easy part. Attending meetings, going to events, taking notes, forcing my shy self to step up to strangers and ask questions: that is the hard part. Until it’s time to do the writing, anyway. Then, I feel like that is the most difficult task.
    Posting a blog every single day in 2016 was a big “going the distance” type success for me, as well.

  5. You definitely are a very determined person, Laurie. Not sure I would drive that distance just to do my grocery shopping. However, when I was having difficulties getting my passport renewed at the Spanish Consulate in London and I was told it would be quicker to fly to Spain, I did not hesitate and that’s exactly what I did. I suppose it all depends on how badly you need something and what is at stake! Hope writing is going well. 👍💗

  6. I guess my four hour drive and back to and from Binghampton, New York to comfort a close friend who shockingly lost his wife this past week that involved navigation through a ferocious blizzard would constitute “going the distance.” As always my friend you move mountains when broaching this theme.

    • Sam — Blizzard driving is not even remotely close to the top of my “favorites” list, but you went the distance, and for a profoundly sad reason. I know your friend was extremely grateful you made the trip.

  7. sometimes it is all gobbledgook! I could write two blogs a day with at least 500 words. I am not certain I could write a 1000’s words for a continual book?
    I have been going the distance with learning and building my essential oil business, and there are days I stand in the middle of what seems to be an empty road, saying, “Now What? Where do I go from here?”

    • Jeff, as I read your closing statement, the final scene from the movie Castaway popped in my mind. The hero after his epic survival journey, played by Tom Hanks, standing at the crossroads of graveled roads, map in hand trying to identify which route to take. I think this quandary often besets creative minds teeming with ideas (or at times overwhelmed by them). If this is true for you, may your path become clear. By the way, I always enjoy your posts here.

      • Thank you Audrey, your comment means a lot because it is difficult to know at times if anyone is “out there” listening or paying attention. I am back on the road to many of the creative activities I am capable of, the Essential Oil business is a “new” practice so much of it is unfamiliar…

      • I’m on it, one drop at time! Love this stuff and I love offering the opportunity to others to discover how powerful nature can be !!!

  8. I am in the pre-launch phase of a new “going the distance” plan for my work passions; details to follow. Being a Gemini spirit, this is on top of memoir writing and a major spring “lightening” project. For the Spring quarter “lightening” project, I’ve adopted and slightly modified a challenge I read about to minimize by removing 40 bags. In my case, it will be a combination of 40 bags or boxes or larger items. I intend to shed and shred old work and personal papers. I am already boxing books (hardest to let go of). Numerous smaller items, as well as a few larger items, are also being “tagged” to sell or donate, recycle or toss. By lightening, I’m sure I’ll have increased energy for my work and writing passions. Oh, and a long distance family reunion trip is on the schedule for July; driving to Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

    • Audrey — Holy Smokes! I’m exhausted just reading about what you’re actually doing. My. Hat. Is. Off. To. YOU! 🎩

      (I’m looking forward to hearing about those details you mentioned)…

  9. Lately, my distances are short. Therefore, I’d have to say the day I vacuumed and dusted, both in the same day? Or perhaps it should be today, when I drive the 30 miles that will get me to the nearest supermarket?

  10. Great and thoughtful post. I can see where you are at Laurie with the writing the book as I’m going through similar things. My next Beyond novel, Beyond Faith, has been accepted by my publisher and he wants to publish it this fall – providing I make a few changes as he and I discussed on the phone last week. I have until the end of April to do that (as well as other things like the dreaded income taxes, progress on a very heavy book edit for a client and teach a memoir writing course – something with have to be postponed and it won’t be my book, the course or the taxes.

    And Laurie, it is common for some of us authors to be able to spend around three hours a day writing that book. If it isn’t all the other stuff we do, it is how much do we have the stamina to write in one day. Maureen Jennings, the author of the Murdock and Tom Taylor mysteries is in the same boat and she is a widely published mystery novelist. Whatever she does, her books are still good and I await her next one due out this fall.


  11. Going the distance, for me, means walking. Yes, going on my two feet where I feel like going. And I will. In the meantime, I am finishing Book 1 (with one hand and one finger since the rest has been rendered useless), writing a sequel, typing out a 1978 diary (I might be able to make some money off it), and seeing friends. I have a very busy life! You, Laurie, are a great comfort and a quiet moment of thought when I read your blog.

  12. As my dog gets older he prefers to go on shorter walks more frequently and so I’ve had to turn to another source to go the distance. I discovered that my exercise bike could do more than be a table–go figure. Last night I increased the resistance level from 3 to 4 and pumped the pedals for half an hour. When I was done, my legs felt like jello but my feeling of accomplishment made up for that.

  13. I suffered a near amputation to my left foot about 20 months ago. Once I was proclaimed fit enough, I had rehab for 3 months. After rehab, I still felt the need to reclaim muscle mass that I’d lost from my recovery program, so I joined a bootcamp type 3 morning a week workout program for women only. This year, I turned 50….. and I’m more fit than I’ve ever been in my life. I celebrated by doing 50 full (man style) pushups in 2 minutes. I was trying to do it in 5 minutes… and had no idea I could do it in two. We live in a small town, and so I see the EMT’s (who helped treat/triage/transport my ankle to the nearest hospital) regularly. They are amazed that I walk without a limp. I have found that exercise is critical to my movement. It keeps pain to a near negligible state and keeps my joints from getting rusty. At 50, and living on a farm, I cannot afford either (the pain or the rust!) for the work must get done regardless! It hurt alot at first, but Laurie, you are right…. sometimes in order to accomplish a great goal, you must push thru. God Bless!

    • Kimmie — The first person to type in the accurate city and state of my sabbatical location next Tuesday (Mar 28) will receive a signed copy of NOTE TO SELF: A SEVEN-STEP PATH TO GRATITUDE AND GROWTH.

      Good luck 🙂

  14. Silver city Idaho?????


    *”I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining.* *I believe in love, even when I’m alone* *I believe in God, even when He is silent.” *

    On Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 2:02 AM, Tuesdays with Laurie wrote:

    > Laurie Buchanan posted: “To get to a large grocery store, a gas station > with un-inflated prices, or to pick up a pizza (not from a cafe that > incidentally offers pizza), I drive 17 miles to a neighboring town. It > boasts a population of 4,348—six times the size of the undisclosed l” >

  15. Growing up on the prairies taught me all about going the distance. We would often drive 50 miles to the nearest city to stock up on groceries and other supplies. So now when I have to go the distance to meet a writing deadline, I just do it! I know you will get your book completed as you are as determined as I am.

  16. Way to go Laurie! I never doubted you for a minute 🙂 I have a solo show of new west to east coast Canadian landscape paintings that opens on July 1st for six weeks. I started the work for this show a year ago at the end of April with a seven week trip to Prince Edward Island. Now, I am coming down the home stretch with edges to paint, hanging wires to put on and entering the pieces into the inventory program. Almost there! A Vancouver group show in an international art fair at the end of May has put a bit of a bump in the road. But I think I have enough head of steam up to crest the hill and coast across the finish line. We shall see.

  17. Laurie, I feel in my lifetime I have gone the distance several times…and back. This past year I have crossed the U.S. from Savannah to Los Angeles, from Florida to Washington State. This A.M. I feel I went the distance when I planted 11 raspberry bushes, but I’ll be feeling all kinds of smiles, not miles, when I put raspberry jam on my toast!

  18. You are doing amazingly well ( I am hopeless at getting to you on time but I did did a FB congrats on your book . The next will be as wonderful as the first keep on doing what your doing , I’m with you all of the way.)
    I’ve joined a writing group which I love it’s only every month but I have to read everyone’s stories , which I adore, but here I am a few hours before I go and still have 3000 words to read , nothing to most, but as my husband says I’m a pitherer , I’d say I’m a dreamer sounds more Hollywood … get on with it cherry🤠

  19. The most recent “going the distance” for me is getting through Lent without eating sugar!! It may sound trivial but I am a sugarholic. I miss my little red gummy fish. But I will go the distance! Such a beautiful place you are in. Tina

  20. Your location must be so beautiful! 1,000 words a day would not be easy for me either. I recently had to go the distance to make some pretty major revisions on my book, Anything But Simple, in a very short length of time. But I made it! And it’s great to come out on the other side. 🙂

  21. I’m learning Spanish! I’ve been at it for 8 years now, what with family, work and many other distractions (like wandering off sideways to learn Ancient Greek for a bit), but I’m getting there. Someday I’ll be as fluent as in English… and then I’ll learn Italian. 🙂 Keep going. The journey alone is worth the effort, IMO.

  22. Beautiful scenery :). How about the four hour round trip drive I have to make every two weeks on a Sunday afternoon through the hills and hollers of rural Kentucky to take my daughter home. Does that count?????

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