When the weather is beautiful here in the Ozarks, residents
and visitors of the area like to get out and walk. Yesterday I was in
Springfield, Missouri and experienced the walking trail at The Department of
Conservation’s Nature Center Trails. This is the week of New Year’s
resolutions, so a lot of people joined me on the trail including my daughter
and husband. Within the month many of yesterday’s participants will have given
up their resolution for getting exercise by walking for various reasons. My intentions
for walking are not just the usual reasons so I hope that I will continue my
endeavor, not just for the exercise, but for the inspiration that the walking
provides for my writing projects.
I recently read the book THE ART OF WAR FOR WRITERS by James Scott Bell that he works for a while on his writing, and then takes a walk where he gets more inspiration so that he can return to his computer and continue writing. That is one of my goals this new year. I want to combine getting exercise by walking with gaining inspiration for my writing projects.
The way I understand it, I don’t even have to be consciously thinking about writing during the walking I can instead be thinking about other things, I can be thinking about the fact that the weather has been unusually warm this time of year. I can be thinking about what I plan to get done during the day. I can be thinking about what I am going to eat for lunch. I can simply be enjoying the scenery like I was yesterday.
How does this help get my muse to decide to provide me with writing creativity? Well, first
of provides a break from the dominant the left hemisphere of my brain. It allows the right hemisphere of my brain to do its own thing. Second it gets oxygen to my brain by stimulating my heart and making my blood flow. Walking also gets me away from my computer for a while and gives my muse something else to play with. One thing I have discovered about my muse is that she doesn’t like to work, she likes to play so in order to keep my muse from rebelling, I have to call what she does play, not work. My muse is definitely connected to my inner child.
The kind of writing that I do before the walking break is the left brained stuff, but the kind of writing that I do after the walk is a more right brained brain dump to do this I use 750 words. This program allows me to write freely the way that my muse likes to write. There’s nothing like free writing to get things done, even if the muse doesn’t know that what she is doing is actually the four letter word—work. I'm also not going to tell her that the fun she is having is good for her, would you?