The Walking Writer

Walking and spending time in nature are the key ingredients of my creativity. Although today there’s ample evidence that these practices enhance creativity[1][2], I began incorporating both into my process more than a decade ago. I noticed that, whenever I was struggling to find the right words, they’d only offer themselves up once I began walking—not during hours of staring at my computer screen.

My iPhone contains more than 9,000 Notes, including ideas, sentences, paragraphs and even full drafts of chapters, essays, articles, blog posts and white papers. Walking is a significant part of my editing process, too, with ideas for structure and storytelling in client manuscripts arising as I move.

There’s a science-y rationale for this process, though I work this way because it yields brilliant results, and I enjoy it. The creative process is an interplay among the whole brain—left and right, conscious and subconscious. Walking and nature are the facilitators of this process. 

In addition to the creative benefits conferred by walking, there are others: I slow down and pay attention to details I might otherwise have missed; I see things differently than I would if I were moving faster. I focus more intensely. It takes practice and presence, and ultimately, it yields exponentially greater results for my clients.






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