I’m walking my way back to writing.
It takes at least a few miles of footsteps for my cluttered mind to relax, to stop thinking about my mother’s impending move to assisted living, to stop dreading the spreadsheet I need to turn in, to stop nagging myself about the work I need to find — and all the rest. But once I’ve put in the miles, I start to think like a writer again. I ponder a story line. Titles pop into my head for articles. A revision outlines itself to me.
I wonder about the connection I’m discovering between moving feet and inspiration. The long-distance walking began as physical exercise. I felt the need to get stronger and get leaner. At first, a mile or two seemed enough. Sometimes a trot, sometimes a stroll. I pushed up to three miles, then longer. I’ve been in a phase of life where I’ve been helping relatives heal from injuries and family relocate. My husband and I sold our home in another city to move closer to our aging mothers, but never really decided what came next for us. With all the uncertainty, I couldn’t get myself to write. Anything.
Then ideas started floating across my consciousness after about an hour into a walk. I stretched the walking to five miles. One day, near the end of a walk, I could see a change I needed to make in a draft. One day last week, I even logged in 10 miles musing about a couple articles I want to write before my feet told my brain it was time to stop. It’s no coincidence that I’m sitting at the computer writing this — yesterday it came to me at about mile four that I’d found my Muse again.
She’d just been waiting down the road a bit, and I had to get moving again before I could see her.