Just going for a Run
Getting out of bed of a morning, even in summer, can be torture, knowing a run is my choice to start my day. I pretty much get up and dressed and out the door before my brain realises what I'm up to. I use the term 'running' loosely as it's more of a jog or a brisk walk, but at least I'm going faster than if sitting on a couch all day. Out in the fresh air and greenery (or as we've had some heavy rain of late, mud, mud and more mud), it clears my head and gets my creative juices flowing. I get to hear my characters having a conversation or arguments in my head. A knotty plot point that seemed impossible to resolve, untangles in an, 'uh ha!' light bulb moment.
There's the bonus of finding myself bumping into the other regulars walking their dogs and who always say, "good morning!" I'm guaranteed to hear a comment or two on the weather along the lines of, "nice day for it," or, "did you hear the storm last night?" (Nope, definitely didn't hear that, even though I can hear the rustle of chocolate wrappers at a hundred paces). Or, as of this past week, "autumn is on the way then," in reference to the slightly chillier mornings. It's only just September! Of course, I might also hear a snippet of juicy conversation that will, you know, find it's way into my novel!
The idea of running by putting one foot in front of the other, whether you enjoy the process or not, has parallels with writing. You have to stick at it and trust your instincts that what you are doing has value and purpose, in order to see an end result. To trust your own judgement in getting things right, whether it's getting fit or getting my next novel completed (both preferably). It's no coincidence that when I took a nasty tumble a few months ago while running downhill ~ the momentum kept me going head over heels before coming to an abrupt halt, covered in dirt and twigs ~ I must have looked like Worzel Gummidge ~ I found myself unable to run for a few weeks or so, too sore. Not only was I unable to run, I was unable to write as well. I couldn't focus for no real reason at all. That hadn't happened before and I missed the inspiration gained from being in 'my' forest. The nugget of an idea for a new novel was there but elusive. Couldn't shape my ideas into any form what so ever, for love nor money.
Eventually, I had a new story board in place. I had the main plot points in the starting block but I needed to know my characters better. So like you do, I had my main characters talk to a virtual psychiatrist about a plot-line and to see what they come up with. What were they really thinking about?
Oh, and that brisk walk? That's turned into a daily 4-5k slow run. My Novel is also coming along nicely too.