Wordplay Wednesday: Take a Hike! ( or maybe just a walk)
Sometimes the creative life, whatever its form, needs a rest or a change of venue to become fresh again. As much as I love to write, there are times when my ideas and words refuse to play well together and my determined attempts to wrestle them into submission are to no avail. When that happens, as it has recently, I know I need to step away from the story before I strangle the life out of it.
I need to, as Julia Cameron puts it, “ fill the well.” Filling the well means to replenish yourself with something that is enjoyable and restorative that gets you away from the project at hand.
For me that means is getting outside more and walking. This week I have been taking long walks alone each morning on the greenway that runs near my home. My senses have been soaking up the sounds, sights, sensations and smells of early fall: birdsong, the movement of clouds, the emergence of fall wildflowers, cool breezes and the crisp, pungent smell of fallen leaves.
I have made mental gratitude lists, said my prayers and let my mind wander. I have also made myself pay attention to my surroundings with more focus and as a result, my well has been filling back up.
I have resisted the impulse to come home and write about the images and ideas right away. For now I am storing the them for future dips into the well instead. After five days I am almost ready to face my story again.
My suggestion to you is to take a hike or a walk and look at your surroundings with new eyes. There are people, animals, weather, nature and all kinds of activity to take notice of that might spark a poem, essay, character sketch, story or art piece.
When your creative work is not working, or you need some fresh ideas, take a hike!