10 Topics to Start off a New Decade of Writing

Inspired by some hiking and running 101 miles, I’ve written my to-write list.

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Chasing the sunset at White Sands National Park, NM. Photo by Jon Gilbert.

I put writing on hold and spent the holidays hiking in four national parks in the southwest with my husband Jon. I celebrated my birthday while running my 27th ultramarathon — the Across the Years 48 hour ultra January 1–3, 2020.

What a great way to start a new decade!

As I visited and hiked in the national parks and logged 101.63 miles (to be exact) at Across the Years, ideas to start my 2020 writing year flooded my thoughts.

I write anywhere, anytime. On the flight back home, I wrote a list of 10 writing topics on my iPad.

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Photo by Eva Darron on Unsplash
  1. Visiting national parks in the winter and during the Christmas holiday — what to pack, what to know. I’ve already written articles about visiting national parks in the summer. Visiting and hiking national parks in the winter is a little bit different.
  2. How I spent New Year’s Day and celebrated my 61st birthday at the Across the Years 48 hour ultramarathon in Arizona, and what I learned about my self as an ultrarunner. When I turned 60, I ran 60 miles to celebrate my birthday but also as a healing run for my husband who was tackling stage 4 cancer.
  3. How my husband continued to lead an active life while enduring aggressive radiation, chemo, and four surgeries in 2019. We have hiked in six more national parks. He was my crew and pacer at a 24 hour track ultra, at a multi-day ultra, and at Across the Years.
  4. Why I knitted 7 scarves in 2019 and who I gifted them to.
  5. Why knowledge of world religions matters. I’m an adjunct professor of theology and religion studies. My students leave my course transformed and with a new appreciation for religious diversity.
  6. What it takes to be an ultrarunner and what ultrarunners are willing to subject their bodies to — pain, suffering, and sleep deprivation for miles and miles.
  7. What I’ve learned about memoir writing. I’m working on my memoir, belong to a critique group, and engage with different memoir writing platforms and writers working on memoirs.
  8. Observations I have made during my husband’s radiation and chemo treatments, his inpatient stays following surgeries, and observations I have made about the world of cancer care and treatment as a cancer caregiver.
  9. How reading more than you write will make you a better writer so you can write more.

10. My favorite Paulo Coelho quotes and how they inspire me and resonate with me. Of writing, he writes,

“I write to empty my mind and to fill my heart” and “Writing is one of the most solitary activities in the world.”

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Photo by Khadeeja Yasser on Unsplash

I have made the decision to write about these topics. I have outlined them all.

The next decision I need to make is where I would like to see them published to get paid other than on Medium.

I’ve been published in Women’s Running and in Podium Runner. Perhaps I’ll query them again and submit my ultrarunning article idea to both of these publications.

Publications devoted to spirituality and healing might be interested in my knitting article, as well as in the why religions matter piece. These publications might also enjoy learning about The Alchemist author Paulo Coelho and his quotes that not only resonate with me but also with their readers. I have 21 of his books.

Hospital and cancer patient care publications might be interested in my observations — the good and the bad, and how to improve the experience of cancer treatment and care for all involved.

The start of a new decade has inspired these first ten topic goals I will write about.

My goals list might change. Another topic might come up. That’s OK. I might set aside one of the listed topics. It doesn’t matter.

What’s important is that I set writing goals that will be transformed into articles.

This is my to-write list. How’s your to-write list coming along?

Miriam Diaz-Gilbert (aka Miriam Gilbert) is a published author, ultarunner, and adjunct professor. I am also published in Chicken Soup for the Soul — Running for Good, How to Survive Your Freshman Year, and Spiritus: A Journal of Christian Spirituality. Thank for reading and sharing.

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Ultrarunner|Author|WritingMyMemoir https://www.miriamdiazgilbert.com/

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