When I was young, I rode at least ten miles a day on my bike whenever weather permitted. The bike I rode was plain jane. I had access to a ten speed but always chose my simple, back pedal brake model. It did make hills a bit more work and you didn’t let go of the handle bars.
Then I moved away from home, got married and had children. My bike didn’t get much attention.
Now, I’m finding the desire to get back on my bike only my good old faithful ride has long since been stripped of parts to keep my children’s bikes pedaling. I still didn’t want the fancy multi-speed model. Then I was given an old moped with the motor removed. I do have the luxury of handlebar brakes but that’s it for extra features.
Recently, I took part in a reading at the library where the writers from my local group were featured. We had everything from fiction to nonfiction, poetry to novels. Our group consists of a large range of writers from those who write for fun to those who make a living from it.
I noticed the crowd’s response more than usual. When the most accomplished writer in the group shared part of his new creative nonfiction, the writing followed all the musts an editor would hone in on but the content lost the listener. The least "polished" of our writers had her audience hanging onto her every word.
I’ve read a couple of award winning books and have to say, they didn’t do much for me. I won’t reread them. It makes me question if we’ve put too much emphasis on technical aspects of writing, too stuck on the details the average reader doesn’t notice.
I like my simple bike because of the pure enjoyment of doing the work of climbing the hill and then the rush of coasting down the other side. And maybe that’s what I need to focus on in my writing as well.