The Artful Walk
In general, I’m not a fan of the term “Writer’s Block”. Art can be a seasonal thing. Maybe it’s been raining for months, and creating has been a fluid and easy process. Or maybe you’ve been in a dry spell for a while now, and inspiration seems harder to come by.
But zoom it all out and the climatic conditions throughout the years are all part of the process. You have to hit a wall to have a breakthrough, and you have to have running room to arrive at that wall. A block is just one step along the way.
Speaking of steps… (you’ll see the beauty in this segue in just a jiffy)
If you are in a bit of a rut, my absolute favorite way for stimulating the brain and propelling me forward is walking.
(Yes, another pun; that was unintentional, but I like it! I’ll try to slow down on them…oh dang!)
Walking is the oldest medicine and cup of coffee in the books. Getting outside, walking about, observing your surroundings, absorbing what’s going on around you to synthesize it - this is the ink to your pen, the new set of strings to your guitar, the paint to your brush.
Your surroundings, of course, can have vastly different impacts on you depending on their makeup, but they all have creative input to offer. From a National Park with its jaw-dropping scenery to a bustling metropolis filled with the millions of stories amongst its pedestrians to the most seemingly “mundane” settings in between, inspiration abounds.
Walking has all the health benefits we all know and love, but it cleanses us too. It creates in us a healthy clarity to create. I’d posit that routinely walking, making it a healthy habit of your life, would automatically open doors and keep them open for a more creative internal home.
But, it works on the small scale and in specifics too. I’ve written songs while walking. I’ll walk laps in a park and ponder words. I’ll take notes, chew on a difficult line, finish a verse, stumble upon a new idea, all while strolling along. And, there’s a freedom about it. I don’t know what it is, but the mind feels liberated to work through things. Sometimes it’s still work and I have to wrestle with a line, but the mind is equipped to do so while the body is moving along.
More now than ever, in the sedentary age we live in, get on outside and walk! Maybe inspiration will hit you, or maybe the door will be slowly opened for when it’s time to go through it, but no matter what, I think you’ll be doing yourself a favor by putting one foot in front of the other.
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