One day, I was sitting at my desk, in front of a blank computer screen, trying to convince a creative thought to leap from my vacant mind, to my willing fingers, and onto the page. After much strain and effort, nothing was happening. The only thing I could do was walk away, which I what did.
I remembered reading somewhere that your major organs need oxygen to work effectively. Spending a large quantity of my day glued to the computer chair meant the blood and oxygen to my brain and heart, both vital to writing, were suffering. So, I put on my sneakers, and headed for the front door, full of expectation and promise.
Leaving my laptop and phone behind freed me from all distractions. As I stepped outside, I inhaled the fresh air almost in a meditative way, and took a whiff of the sweet frangipanis along my stroll, while birds sang their melodies in tall trees. The aroma and sounds took over my senses, inspiring my creative juices.
I closed my eyes to savor the moment. Scenes flashed before me in my mind’s eye, painting solid pictures for the fantasy story I was working on. I imagined the trees turning into a deep forest where creature’s eyes followed me in the hollow of the trees, and envisaged it was night time with the moon casting its pale glow on me. I just allowed these wonderful images to envelop me, yielding myself to their magic.
When I arrived home, I quickly jotted down all the fresh thoughts and images. I knew if I didn’t do it right away, I would lose the flow and rhythm. Walking had created visual pictures for me to include in my story!
Getting outside my physical box helped me get outside my mental box. The simple change of scenery helped prompt new thoughts that I would never have been able to come up with while my thoughts were held hostage in my mental box.
Not only has this practice helped me physically, mentally, and creatively, but walking has helped me financially as well because I have sold short stories I have written using the imagery my walking has created. The secret to my success has been to take daily walks in nature to help me reflect, focus and inspire my writing. So, get outside with some comfy shoes and clothes, and let the sights and sounds and smells stimulate your creativity!
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Julie Guirgis is a freelance writer with writing published in Australia, America, Canada, and New Zealand. Her poetry, non-fiction, and fiction has been published in War Cry, Creation Illustrated, Leaves of Ink, Foliate Oak Literary, The Aquarian Online, Now What?, Majellan, Alive Now, Vibrant Life, Back Home, Signs of the Times, Significant Living, and has upcoming work in Friend and Guide.