Many writer has found walking beneficial to their work. Not to compare myself to Wordsworth or anything…But I often find inspiration when out walking.
Countryside setting helps with scenery, vocabulary, sounds, smells, sights. My current work-in-progress is set in a spooky wood so I am forever snapping interesting trees I see and dragging my son on walks with me.
Last Autumn I attended a talk by Kate Mosse at the Chelsea Literary Festival. I was interested to hear she walks the cities she writes to catch the time of day, the light. You can tell Carcassone is in her blood when she writes. This inspired me to really walk in the shoes of my characters as she so clearly does.
Fictional composite woodlands can take on the form of other woods, of course. Just as Mosse has never been to medieval France, I can imagine myself transported amongst intriguing oaks and such.
But the walk that I find most inspiring is the walk into work. Nothing like a deadline!
My brain is saying, no, you don’t want to go there, you want to write, maybe?
But I am also interested in this idea of being bored on my commute helps. My brain otherwise blank, following blindly a routine, finds space for new ideas.
Being bored helps. I didn’t come up with this idea. Manoush Zomorodi wrote a book and hosts a podcast Being Bored and Brilliant. Although I pick and choose which parts of this method to adopt, I do wonder if there is something to these ideas about creativity.
As I trudge into work, I often have to grab my phone to make a note of an idea that has come to me. Not exactly a digital detox, but a productive walk nonetheless.
If you’re inspired here is a great list of poems written about walking