Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wisdom On Wednesdays: Let's Go Outside

FIRST: my sincere apologies for the recent absence of internet presence, and deepest gratitude for your patience with me and for sticking with me anyway. The first few days of summer vacation are always a little hectic back here at my place, while the kids and I figure out a new sleeping/working/yardwork/playing/getting-the-heck-out-of-the-house schedule that keeps us all happy and semi-well-rested I'm back now, and to reward you all on Friday, I'VE GOT A GIVEAWAY COMING UP! So remember to come back, okay?

NOW. This week's wisdom. I saw on the news last night that doctors are prescribing walks in the park as stress relief.

Do you know what this says to me? This says that a number of people have become so disassociated with the real world that they don't even remember how nice it can be to go for a walk.

As writers, it's easy to get sucked into the computer bubble. We write on our laptops, whose screens, let's face it, are sucky in natural lighting. Then we read blogs: agent blogs, writer blogs, editor blogs, writer beware blogs... And we blog, too, and Tweet, and MyFaceSpaceCreate-friend, because that's how we keep in touch with agents in New York and San Fransisco and writers in England and Australia and Iceland and all over North America. We're supposed to do these things. It's how we educate ourselves about our industry, and it's how we develop and maintain relationships with people who do what we do and understand why we do it. That's important stuff!

And let's not forget our critique groups, which are both essential and increasingly internet-based. It's a wonder any of us get out at all. It's a wonder we haven't all developed the bio-luminescent glow of a deep-sea creature.

And yet! And yet, getting out of our houses and into the fresh air is important. It's important for our physical health, for our mental health, and for the creative process. I've had more manuscript ideas and epiphanies since my kids got out of school and forced me out into the real world than I've had in the past year, except for last summer, when I had just as many.

So, for the sake of your sanity, your blood pressure, and your manuscript, go outside and take a stroll. Do it often - every day is good, but more than that won't hurt. We're all in danger of being the guy I saw tonight on the news, but I bet our work-lives and our life-lives will both be better if we don't let it happen.

See you Friday!


  1. That's so true it's important to get off the computer. I'm so guilty of spending too much time on mine. I usually take a walk in the morning and at lunch at work to clear my head. I have to get back into it. Thanks for reminding me and I hope summer slows down a bit so I have time to do it.

  2. What's a park?

    Just kidding. This is another one of the many benefits of owning a dog. I have to take her out at least twice a day, and we try to get to the dog park every weekend.

    Now if only I could get Vampire Teenager to come with ...

  3. I like to write longhand at a picnic table in the sun, or listen to an audio book while I'm jogging. I feel like I'm killing two birds with the same stone.

  4. If there was a like button on this, I'd press it.

    My numb legs and aching back are due to sitting at my desk for so long. As long as it's not raining, I go for a walk in the evening. It clears my head and I enjoy the scenery.

  5. Im' with Matthew, what's a park? :)
    I don't have any park near my home, but thankfully I have my own backyard for a short walk after long hours in front of computer :(
    If I had a nice park near my home I'd buy a dog and take him for a walk every day :)