A cartoon of the writer’s life on social media recently showed a writer slumped at a computer on New Year’s Eve, on Christmas Day, on their birthday and every day – each day identical.
My hysterical laughter proved it was too close to the truth.
So now when I’m restless as a dog with dark eyes of longing, waiting moment by moment for the magic “w” word, I simply stand and go. Take flight.
In primary schools across the country, students are urged to Drop Everything and Read (DEAR). As writers, we read as we breathe, in and out, day in, day out, writing word after word after word.
We forget we can drop Everything And Walk (DEAW), to open our minds to everything else out there.
What better way to balance our minds and bodies? Humans evolved to walk, and walking improves our writing.
As one foot follows another in the great outdoors, pernicious plot holes are filled, character backgrounds fall into place, and we dream up sharper conflict, layers of meaning, and better beginnings, middles and endings.
Artist Jeffrey Smart once quipped that a wood shaving which lodged itself in the sky of one of his unfinished urban infrastructure masterpieces gave him the final detail he was seeking.
In the same way, a snatch of overheard conversation, a detail from a blue letterbox or a delicate camellia crushed under the heel of an oblivious suited stranger can make its way into our stories, loaded with additional meaning.
And so we weave our way, from keyboard to boardwalk and back again, bathed in light, ever richer in words for all that fresh air.
To read more on the benefits of walking for writers, visit Kath Walters’ Walk Your Book, Adam Thompson’s How to Write While You Walk, and Ferris Jabr’s Why Walking Helps Us Think, from the New Yorker.
Or just give it a go. Let me know if it worked, at AmberJakemanSydney@gmail.com, if you like.
Fare well until next time!
Email me at AmberJakemanSydney@gmail.com to share your own ideas.