Wednesday, September 16, 2015

How my lack of walking is hurting my writing

I like to walk. I really like it. So much so, that I've mostly walked four half marathons.

Unfortunately, I haven't really been able to walk for the last couple of months due to knee surgery.

This is totally screwing with my writing process. 

My "normal" life consists of a walk for a mile or two every morning with the dog. This is important time. It's when I mentally review what I wrote the previous day and what I want to write that day. Sometimes I spend the majority time fine-tuning a single line or paragraph. Other times I replay a scene in my head until I've "seen" exactly how I want it to play out.

My creative day starts with that morning walk.

Except lately, it hasn't. 

And I'm struggling because of it.

I've found it much more difficult to prime the pump of my creative juices without physical movement.  Frustrating.

I know I'm not the only writer who uses walking to help them think. Poor Stephen King was doing just that when that idiot plowed into him back in '99.  :-(

I'm also a compulsive pacer when I get stuck. I turn on some tunes and pace the length of a room until a solution presents itself. (This form of walking is hard on the dog. Unlike other mutts I've had, she stubbornly refuses to leave me alone while I pace. This results in me repeatedly ordering her to lie down, which in turn results in her looking at me like I'm the meanest human in the whole entire world.)

But now I can't pace for any length of time.

Still, I was convinced things were getting better. I'd finally gotten back to walking around the lake. 

That is until yesterday, when my physical therapist told me I was walking too much.

((sigh))

What's an antsy writer to do?

Tell me Killer Friends: What kinds of tricks do you employ to get through YOUR work?

7 comments:

B.E. Sanderson said...

Oh man, that sucks. Sometimes medical people can be so over-reactive. Did you tell the PT you aren't like power-walking? I mean, I'd listen to the PT because you just had surgery and don't want to interfere with the healing process, but still...

I don't think about stuff when I walk. I just let everything go and then when I get home, I sometimes have a clearer path to the writing. Like I stop getting in my own way. If that makes any sense. =o)

Karyn Good said...

Hugs and healing thoughts, JB! I take work breaks. I can tell when I need to get out of my chair and do something like make the beds, or start the laundry or organize what's for supper. Something about moving jars my brain loose, I guess. Or I play loud music.

Cynthia Valero said...

What a great post! I totally understand the walking thing. I find that walking not only gives me time to think, but it also works out my pent-up energy and allows me to sit and focus when I'm done. I'm sorry the PT put the kabosh on walking! I hope he sets you free soon! xo

Misty said...

I feel your pain! Not literally, but I do sympathize. I went through a similar thing from 2008-2011 where I couldn't walk around the block with severe pain in my back. And I live in an area of the country where snow and cold keep me from walking for 4-5 months a year. So I do yoga. It's helped my physical strength and stamina and freed my creative muse.

I sure hope you're up and walking again soon!

Madelina Rivera said...

I'm sorry to hear about the knee. Sending healing thoughts your way! I know what you mean. I've taken to doing upper body exercises and that helps a little. It's not as good as your walking, I'm sure, but it keeps the antsiness away a bit.

jblynn said...

B.E. -- Makes perfect sense to me

Karyn -- Thanks. Funny how even the smallest change can have a big impact.

Cynthia -- I think you're right about expending the energy. Much easy to focus on work when not physically restless.

Misty -- Thanks! I have to think too much about what I'm doing when I do yoga. Glad you found something that works for you.

Madelina -- thank you -- anything to keep the antsiness at bay! ;-)

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