Trying to Write? Take a Walk.

The simplest advice. Suggested by many writers before me. But it is such good advice, the best, really, that it warrants repeating and repeating and repeating.

If you are trying to write, take a walk.

When your writing flows easily, straight from thought to paper, then stay seated and type away. When writing is more difficult, a real conscious effort, but accurately reflects what you envision, then keep writing. But when the mind is sluggish, those words with great effort appearing one by one (by one by one) on the page like the drip drops of ancient water torture, take a walk. When even with focused effort, writing fails to reflect the vision, take a walk. When frustrated, angry, weary, or in despair, take a walk.

No headphones. No devices. No distractions of any kind.  Your mind, your body, and the world opening all around you- nothing more. Nothing more. Can’t stress that enough. Take a walk. Blood flows, endorphins surge, and the mind, the imagination, expand in all sorts of lovely and unexpected ways.

Walk outside. Not on a treadmill, unless that is truly the only option. There is something about the vastness of the outer world that sparks the vastness of the inner mind. They both expand to infinity, until they almost seem to merge.

When you’ve finished your walk, sit back down and write. And write and write.

Whenever I think of writers walking, I always envision Emily Bronte, walking for hours upon hours across the wild Yorkshire moors, a lone, slim figure traversing scraggly earth and stormy sky.


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