Slice Of Life Story Challenge March 1 -Writers Need To Walk




Writers Need To Walk


I walked this morning in the autumn sunshine. I walked when the morning air was at its freshest. The world was calm in every direction I looked. I walked keenly. I walked further and faster than I have been walking in recent times. 

My capacity for walking is gradually returning after a year of less than optimal health. I am returning to where I want to be. My spirit was heightened by my actions. My morning walk set me well on the way to achieving my 10,000 minimum daily steps.

My sometimes walking buddy, Boo


 We know that when we walk, our hearts pump faster and our brains and other organs get more blood and oxygen. Scientific evidence exists that indicates this helps both memory and attention. Researchers have also discovered walking has a positive impact on creativity.  This makes walking pretty important for those of us who need to write.

Some people are content to merely walk. I am not one of them. I monitor my walking. Time, distance, speed, frequency are important considerations. I also consciously choose a different route every day. Variety is good. Where we walk is important.  My phone provides essential walking data as well as enabling me to capture images to inform my writing ideas. It doesn’t drive my fitness, but it most definitely informs it.
Nunn's Walk that runs beside the bay.

I know how important walking is to me in relation to health, but I also appreciate its importance to me as a writer. It provides a vital connection between my inside world and the broader world that surrounds me. 

I use my walking time to rehearse my words, clarify my thinking, make observations, clear the accumulated rubbish inhibiting thought, heighten my senses and harvest new ideas. I might rehearse the words of a poem bouncing around in my head. I am intent on locking words in. Words too important to forget. I may identify what it is I want to say about an issue, or play out a scene, or think about a character. Because I listen to music as I walk, lyric lines sometimes suggest ideas too.

The view over Fisherman's Beach, Mornington


Sometimes, something I encounter while walking triggers a memory- the sound of parrots flitting overhead, the sight of the sapphirine sea, the sweet smell of roses in a garden. Writers and walkers must be keen observers. 

Boo, in the filtered morning light

So much can entertain my thinking as I walk. Walking offers me that essential thinking time necessary to write with intention. It is my pre-writing time. Upon my return, I am primed to write. My internal seas are becalmed by walking. It is said that if a writer wants to be out there in terms of their work, they must be out there in the world. I love how one aspect of my life continues to complement another. There exists in these actions, an essential co-dependency.

A Flowering Gum Tree


Comments

  1. You have re-imaged my walking expectations. Thank you for this lovely adventure into one of the pastimes many of us take for granted.

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    1. Thank you Carol. Your gracious remarks are much appreciated.

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  2. I love the idea of walking to get the ideas flowing. It's inspiring to consider how walking the world takes you to new places. Thanks for sharing these pics. Such beauty! And welcome to March SOLSC!

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    1. Thanks Amy, and welcome back to you too.

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  3. I loved the paragraph of your writerly brain during the walk. You have shown walking from many angles and I hope that after this slice several people will stand up form a computer (after commenting of course) and go for a walk. I am glad that once again you are joining the SOLSC. You inspire. I used one of your last year's slices to write my post today. Thank you!

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    1. Terje, thank you for kind remarks. I shall be visiting your post. You have aroused my curiosity.

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  4. Your exploration of walking, and the intersections of memory and story and writing, is spot on!
    Kevin

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    1. Thanks Kevin. We must keep moving forward.

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  5. I love that you bring your phone with on your walks to capture pictures of inspiration around you.

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    1. Jennifer, my phone must support my efforts, rather than interfere with them. some people would suggest leaving the phone behind, but its purpose has been defined in this activity, and so I feel at ease.

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  6. I love the way your walking not only exercises your body but it exercises your mind. I'm a runner and I find that some of my best reflection and writing time is when I am out there running. Such a beautiful area you have to do these things. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you Amy. I too used to run, but my knees do not allow that anyone, unfortunately, but I can imagine running affording you reflection time too. I do indeed live in a beautiful part of the world. I appreciate that fact each time I walk.

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  7. Gorgeous throughout. I've had four surgeries in the last three years to correct an injury in my foot. Your post is a reminder on what most people take for granted. I loved the line," It provides a vital connection between my inside world and the broader world that surrounds me." Nature has that power - a beautiful gift from God for our entertainment. contemplation and health.

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    1. Thanks for your kind remarks Laurie. May we both power on.

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  8. I couldn't agree more with your thoughts about walking! It's such a wonderful way to create a bit of solitude.

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  9. I also find that walking helps my writing. It gives a rhythm and cadence to my words. I get some of my best ideas on my feet. Have a wonderful month of writing.

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    1. Thank you Adrienne. May your month of writing be fulfilling too. I'm pleased to hear other writers get great ideas when walking.

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  10. So true, Alan!--"Writers and walkers must be keen observers." You reminded me of a line from Kate DiCamillo (from "On writing" on her website) that encourages me -- "I cannot control whether or not I am talented, but I can pay attention. I can make an effort to see."

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    1. Love you Kate DiCamillo quote Alice, thanks for bringing it to my attention. It is most pertinent.

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  11. You have always inspired my writing, as you did here, but now you have encouraged me to keep up my walking, both hand-in-hand. Such good insight!

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    1. Thank you for your kind response. Keep up that walking and see where it takes you as a writer.

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  12. I'm so sorry that you have had health issues this past year! You have such wonderful views on your walks. Walking does give one the time to notice and rehearse the thoughts that will appear on the page later. I haven't done much walking lately, perhaps this will propel me back to wandering about.

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    1. I recall reading a quote many years ago Elsie that stated, 'All who wander aren't lost.' Your comments have propelled it back to consciousness. My health issues in 2016 were confronting. This year is slated to be better as a consequence. The ragged cloak of invincibility took a battering, but I am rebounding!

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  13. Your morning walk looks sublime - such a variety of vistas.

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    1. Thanks Tara, it is indeed a quite sublime part of the world in which to walk. I am most fortunate. Love your alliterative finish...

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  14. Love the pictures you included with your post. As I sit here looking at the snow on the ground, it makes me happy to see water that isn't frozen, leaves on trees and green grass.

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    1. Thanks for the response Deb. Pleased that the scenes of summer/autumn walks warm you a little.

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  15. Hi Alan,
    Nice walking inspiration. It's perfect timing for me as we creep closer to spring and getting outside more. I'm freezing your images in my head to remind me when I feel like passing up a perfect morning.
    And we are off...
    Bonnie

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    1. Hi Bonnie. As always, great to be sharing this time and space with you. We are indeed off and running. Glad my walking has proved inspirational.

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  16. I love this post! Photos are perfect but the walking to write is close to my heart in many ways. I walk to write as well. I also walk for health having had a heart attack last fall. The daily walk and reach toward those 10,000 steps is important in so many ways. Glad to have you writing with us again. Happy Walking and Writing!

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    1. Joanne, like you heart health partly drives my walking. Best wishes with the month of writing that looms ahead and best wishes with the walking. Thank you for your kind remarks.

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