Monday, April 27, 2015

W is for...WALK IT OUT

A to Z Blogging Challenge


Growing up, I hated any form of exercise, even leisurely walking, unless that leisurely walk took me to the ice cream store or bookstore. Or both.

I started walking when my kids were small because if I put them in the stroller and gave them a lollipop (I know—bad, bad mommy), they wouldn’t scream or otherwise make my
nerves go taught as a violin string for at least 20 minutes. I knew for at least 20 minutes every morning I would have peace and quiet, time to gather my frazzled thoughts. Soon, those walks became addictive. Sometimes, I went for two walks a day. Sometimes even three, depending on whether or not the Alien Toddlers felt like napping.

I soon learned another benefit of daily walking. It was a great way to work out the kinks in my WIP. Almost like magic, for the scene I was having so much trouble with, the one that had me staring at the blinking cursor until I could see it in my sleep, the solution would pop into my head. Oftentimes, my mind would be overflowing with so many great ideas, I’d extend the walk (with more lollipops) until I couldn’t wait to get home and onto the computer (after Alien Toddlers were napping, of course).

Creativity guru Julia Cameron urges all of us artsy fartsy types to take daily walks to restore our spirit and nourish our creativity. In her book, Walking in this World, she says, “The truth is that walking holds our solutions.” Before the walk, we’re stuck. After the walk, we’re miraculously unstuck.

Walking clears your head and focuses your thinking, it pulls your awareness away from relentless mind chatter to the gentle rhythm of the walk. The repetitiveness of each step after step gradually brings you into an almost meditative, deeper state. And this deeper state is where your creative mind is free to let go, to explore the possibilities and all the “what if’s.” This is when the magic happens.

It’s no secret that exercise and creativity go hand in hand. Stephen King is known to be an avid walker (unfortunately, he didn’t have eyes in the back of his head when he was hit by that car…). Henry David Thoreau wrote a book about it. And St. Augustine said, Solvitur ambulando—“it is solved by walking.” The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said, “All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.”

Great minds, great walkers.

I’m not telling you to go out there and walk as fast as you can until you’re all hot and sweaty and cursing my name. I’m talking slow and leisurely, people. Easy does it. Nourish that inner muse, don’t give it a heart attack.

Next time you’re stuck with your writing, instead of beating the tar out of your computer, calling your muse foul names, or scarfing a bag of Hershey’s Kisses, trying going for a walk instead. Your muse—not to mention your waistline—will thank you.

Rebecca J. Clark walks almost daily but swears her internal critic is following her. 


2 comments:

  1. Great post! I think I'm going to start taking your advice. I walk when I can, but not as much as I should. We're on the final day of the Challenge. Don't give up now! Have a great day. Eva, http://lilicasplace.com, Minion from Lisa's Live Wires.

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  2. Hello there.
    Hope you enjoyed taking part in the A-Z Challenge! I didn't get to visit your blog during the crazy month of April so I'm popping over today from the Road Trip. My goal is to visit all the blogs that linked up, before next year's challenge starts up again.

    Entrepreneurial Goddess

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