Walk for Ideas

Here’s an article about how going for a walk can help overcome writer’s block and inspire ideas:

thesmartset.com/article/article08221401.aspx

The chief fault of the article is that it illustrates one of the failings of our shallowly scientific age. Well-established experiences are not trusted until some social scientist ‘proves’ them in an experiment contrived as much to be cheap (using college students) as to be accurate, and crudely scored on a computer, again to make it cheap.

Forget the bad science. If you’re not doing so already, why not add walks to your life, particularly in green, wooded areas, and carry something–from a pocket notebook to a smartphone–to capture those fleeting ideas. You might even do like J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis did and take a walking holiday far from city noise. It’s no accident that much of Tolkien’s tales have hobbits on long journey’s by foot.

I might add that I find it’s best to take walks (or ride a bike) along paths that don’t demand a lot of attention, meaning crossing streets and the like. People don’t seem to interfere with my thinking but dodging cars does.

I totally agree with you about the value of walks, and even more
For they have inspired writers since the Stoics, who walked
back and forth under courtyard porches (stoa) discussing, arguing, or just thinking.
Chaucer made much of a walk to Canterbury, Shakespeare of one by Birnam Wood
Pepys, Defoe, and Boswell walked all over London, making notes for their journals.
The Romantics loved walking in open country and wrote poems
In which the movement of body inspires movement of mind
Their name for that genre was excursion; see Wordsworth’s long poem of that title.
And H. D. Thoreau’s essay, “Walking,” his metaphor for space/time progression
Amazon lists scores of books on literary walking;
So it’s not just good therapy for the blocked writer
But an excellent model for narrative form:
We go out, have encounters, survive and come home to tell the tale.

More on walking:

lifehacker.com/walking-organizes … 1631070101

and here:

newyorker.com/tech/elements/ … s-us-think

I’m off for my daily walk.

–Mike Perry

Yep, I walk every day to help me with my writing. The latin phrase “Solvitur Ambulando” (you can solve it by walking) is so true. I even managed to get an article about it in the Society of Author magazine: The Author- http://www.simonwhaley.co.uk/take-a-walk/

And let’s not for Hazlitt, with his ever-anthologized “On Going a Journey.”

grammar.about.com/od/classicessa … yessay.htm