Preparation for writing

When I read Ken Ilgunas’s book Trespassing Across America Sunday evening, one sentence leaped out at me:

Cover of Trespassing America shows man in hiking gear balancing on a large pipe.
The hike wasn’t this carefree.

The only thing that would prepare me for a long-distance hike, I realized, was a long-distance hike.

In many ways, writing is like that long-distance hike. There’s only one way to prepare for writing, and that’s by writing.

And, as with Ilgunas’s hike along the XL Pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to the Texas Gulf Coast, writers aren’t really prepared for writing until they’ve written day after day, in all kinds of whether, no matter whether there’s anybody around to notice or not.