Walking and Writing
“Walking is magic. Can’t recommend it highly enough. I read that Plato and Aristotle did much of their brilliant thinking together while ambulating. The movement, the meditation, the health of the blood pumping, and the rhythm of footsteps…this is a primal way to connect with one’s deeper self.” — Paula Cole (quoted from brainyquote.com)
“I do find walking is fundamental to my creative process.” — Baz Luhrmann (quoted from brainyquote.com)
Walking is the best thing I do for my writing.
The best walking is outside, away from people if possible. There’s a green place where I like to go when the weather permits. It’s free of distractions, so I can let my mind wander.
I often go for a walk as a break from my writing or other work, but while I’m out in the fresh air things seem to happen. Sometimes a tangle in my plot resolves. Sometimes I have a new idea for a story. Sometimes I just see a little deeper into one of my characters.
Sometimes I just come back refreshed, and pick up where I left off.
I started looking around online and found that quite a few creative people have depended on walks to help them work or generate ideas. Here’s an article from Slate.com about composers and philosophers who were inspired by their walks. Thoreau referred to this same effect when he wrote, “Methinks that the moment my legs began to move, my thoughts began to flow.”
Some of these people walked a lot. Most of us don’t have time for that. But for me, squeezing in a twenty-minute walk sometimes helps me more than butt-in-chair time at the keyboard if I am having trouble putting the right words on the page.
I walk inside when the weather’s too cold, as it has been in this old-fashioned winter. It’s not the same. I’m waiting for a warm-up so I can hit the trail or the track again!