Long Drives and Writing

So I did have to forgo my writers’ group tonight (they’re meeting and eating as I speak, the agony!), but in its place I got a long drive, which is one of God’s gifts to writers, along with

1) lawn-mowing

2) showering

3) walks in the woods

4) mindless jobs, like shoving brochures into newspapers all night

5) sleepless nights

6) sports you hate (OK, maybe that one’s not quite so universal — but replace it with ‘job you hate,’ ‘class you hate,’ and you’ll get the idea)

I think everything I’ve ever written has been originally conceived during one of those seven activities. Before I could drive, I got most of my ideas riding the school bus. A man in my writers group (that is meeting without me, alas!) says that when he’s got writers’ block, he goes for a walk, and by the time he gets back home, he knows what will happen. I write first thing in the morning, and if I feel convinced my brain is too empty for it, I take a shower. By the time I’m done, I’ve got a starting point.

There’s actually a science to this moving body + empty mind = creativity, but I’m having trouble articulating it here in my parents’ noisy kitchen. I’ll get back to you on it after a shower.

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One Response to Long Drives and Writing

  1. Amazing, isn’t it? I’ve had several instances of struggling all morning on an idea that just isn’t coming … only to go out for a walk or a drive and have everything fall into place before I’ve gone two blocks.

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