Walking and thinking go hand-in-hand – certainly if you walk alone, which I usually do most days. You can walk to escape an argument, to change stagnant energy, to mull over a difficult situation, or to day dream. The latter having been a favourite of mine for a long time. In the last few years however, I walk to assist my writing life. It was difficult at first, because the mind drifts back to recent events, or a list of jobs that need doing, and if life is challenging the day dream is a lovely escape. But, as with meditation, I kept lightly bringing my thoughts back to the book. I needed more focus than that though, to fix the mind in a place where it could be fruitful. Whenever I’m stuck with plot, then that’s the focus – how to get from where I am to where I want to be in the writing. If a character is misbehaving then with each stride I let them have the reigns – Who is this person? Why do they feel the way they do? I get them to talk to me. The more I’ve practised this walking meditation on my work, the easier it has become, and it is as much a part of my writing process now as sitting at my desk. You do need a long waterproof coat though!
Some of the places I walk: