A Long Walk With My iPod

Life’s busy, what with my job and my kids and my running the youth group and chores around the house, so when I sit down to write in the evening, sometimes my mind is a bit tired.

So when I’m working on a big project like Strin & Fred, getting in a rhythm has been a big help. I have a routine, and I have a thread of plot to follow. I trust that my creativity holds intact as I launch into each session of writing, and past experience has told me it usually does. You don’t have to feel creative to be creative, and honestly, when I feel that euphoric “Don’t I have the most wonderful idea!” emotion is usually when I least want to sit down and do the boring work of actually writing.

But, there’s a lot to be said for free time in creativity–and I’m not very good at allowing myself free time, as in a substantial chunk of time when I’m not doing anything in particular. Not oh-I-have-a-half-hour-let’s-squeeze-in-some-writing-or-reading time but actual sitting-on-the-front-porch-daydreaming sort of time.

I was reminded of this on Father’s Day, when I had a nice chunk of time in the evening to take a walk, just me and my iPod, no dog to accompany me, no clock ticking for my return, just the warm weather and the path along Bixler and Phazon Punch playing repeatedly in my ears.

I sometimes think my most creative time, in terms of ideas, came in high school and early college, but that’s when I had to travel 40 minutes in a car, twice a day, with just my 6-CD disc changer. The mind wanders. Ideas collide. Experiences breathe and unexamined thoughts come up to twirl in the mist.

If I were a full-time writer, I’d do a lot of walking. And maybe driving, if gas wasn’t so expensive.

Anyway, some problems and quandries I was having with the upcoming chapters of Strin & Fred worked themselves out that evening. Now I just need to get the words down on paper.

And do some more wandering, ASAP.

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