Taking my book for a walk


book walkExcept on rare occasions, I don’t blog on the weekend.  The same goes for writing.  I treat my writing like a job:  work at it during the week and take the weekend to relax, do chores and visit family and friends.

Which is not to say I stop “writing”; I just don’t do it on the computer.

While I’m always “on” when it comes to ideas and concepts, one of my most productive “non-writing” times is when I go for my walks (now daily…finally!).  The walking path around my area gives me well-measured journeys of three, four or five miles, depending on my enthusiasm and stamina.  The time it takes to complete the circuit will be anywhere between 45 minutes to about an hour and a quarter.

Once I’ve got my pace set, I turn my brain “off”.  What that means is I stop thinking about things and let my brain decide to go where it wants.  Invariably, the first thing it latches onto is my book.  While I’m gazing at the outstretched trees or scampering squirrels and lizards, my relaxed mind is unraveling knots I may have come to in the story.  Or, I may fly past the current chapter and spark on a cool bit of dialog or refinement of the ending.  Sometimes, I may even think about my next project.

I don’t push it or rush it.  I know when I’m done “writing” because I become immediately aware of the strain in my legs and the sweat on my face.  At that point of the walk, I’ve “returned” to reality and I spend the rest of the time looking at those aforementioned trees and random moving creatures.

The odd thing is, I have my headphones on and am listening (usually) to my iPhone playlist.  Okay, that’s not odd for someone on a walk, but what makes it odd for me is that I don’t write with music playing; never have.  That’s why I call what happens on my walks “non-writing”, even if during the course of the exercise I end up solving a current or potential future story problem.

I don’t think I could ever actually be typing and walking at the same time.  I see texters and such do that, but writing book pages?  Nah.  The phone stays in the pocket the entire trip.  Outside of a water bottle, I walk hands free.  When I take my book for a walk, it’s all in my head.

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