It’s week six of this summer’s writing group, and you may notice that we’re missing a lot of goals. DON’T WORRY. BREATHE. Our writers have not been abducted by aliens or rogue government agents intent on squashing cool cats everywhere. They have been leading busy, busy lives and maybe, if they’re like me, doing a little bit of the ole summertime hangaround, which includes lounging about in the warm sun and not doing anything. No, no, I haven’t done a lot of it. Just, like, almost a lot of it.
Next week we’ll be back in full force. Full. Force.
Aliena (goals coming soon!)
This week I am going to go back to the 2-hours-of-writing goal.
Amy (goals coming soon!)
Anne D. (goals coming soon!)
Anne H. (goals coming soon!)
Bev (Bev is out of town this week, so she’ll write twice as much next week [sorry, Bev, that’s the rule].)
Connor (goals coming soon!)
Joe (goals coming soon!)
I got a little bit of writing done last week: 3 pomodoros. It wasn’t good stuff at all, but it felt good to do it, so I’m aiming for another 3 this week, too.
Lisa (goals coming soon!)
Mike (goals coming soon!)
Rachel (goals coming soon!)
I was out of town this last week, so I didn’t do any writing. This week, finally, I will be here, so I will plan on my usual 7,000 words.
I have to edit two completed lessons, meh. Then I have to set the other authors on their task and write one more lesson. I really like the process of writing what the students will read but it’s really hard to then write a lecture and materials without being redundant. (Sarah, I feel that “meh” in my toes. My toes.)
Last month I read a Chronicle of Higher Education advice post called “6 Ways to Beat Writer’s Block.” The author, Rachel Toor, listed “work up a sweat” as her first strategy, and this is great advice, even if you aren’t really working up a sweat, but just walking at a leisurely pace around your neighborhood.
This is what I used to do all the time, and my dog, Roo, was a perfect excuse for me to leave the house and take a walk. She literally needs to go outside a number of times throughout the day to do her private business, and, because she is a Roo-natic, she needs to go outside to burn off some of her Roo-ish energy. She has a lot of Roo-ish energy.
But Trevor has been taking Roo with him to work, and this means that my excuse for a mid-day walk and an after-work walk is gone. And yes, I know that I can still walk around my neighborhood, but it’s easier to sit on the couch and not do that.
But it really helps: to clear your head and be present in the moment so that when you’re back at your desk, at your computer, you’re fresh and your perspective is different.
I never listen to music or podcasts or audiobooks when Roo and I go on our walks. I sometimes problem-solve about something that has happened that day; I sometimes strategize about a project. And sometimes I just walk. I look at the houses on our regular route and make up lives of the people who live inside. I notice who got a new flower pot or a new car. I watch Roo hop up the street and stick her nose into every god-damned piece of grass she possibly can. I smell the air. I don’t let myself worry about anything other than that walk. It’s the closest I get to Zen.
I highly recommend it, for clearing your head and getting some perspective, and for just checking out who in your neighborhood has the best Halloween decorations and who is probably just going to give out small boxes of raisins.
Is taking a walk or doing some other kind of exercise sometimes difficult? Yes. Will it require that you change your clothes? Sometimes, but not always. (but a bra. You’ll need to put on a bra for sure [unless it’s winter! winter walks are done under the cover of many, many layers but zero bras!]) And will it help your writing? Yes, definitely.
So go take a walk and then do some writing .