Not what you were expecting, huh? This post is about complementary exercise, including my theory that Running/Writing are the best exercise buddies, arguably second to Running/Yoga.
I started writing when I was six...seriously. I could write my name at three or four, but six is when my earliest journal entries/poems are dated.
I started running way back then, too. It's a family hobby to this day, something that my brothers and dad do when they get together in the same state for a few days. We don't all run marathons, though I'm doing my best to train for my second one this year. But we all enjoy different things about running:
- Endorphins. This is one of those DUH reasons. Best high ever.
- Weight loss, or maintenance.
- Fresh air and sunshine.
- The social aspect: running with a partner or team is one of the most efficient ways to share cooperative energy. Oh, and it's fun to chat and laugh at each other, too.
- Conversely, the quiet solitude: running alone provides peace, time to relax from outside stressors and focus inward.
That last one is the inspiration for this blog love fest. Wonder Agent Rachelle Gardner posted 11 Non-Writing-Related Ideas for becoming a better writer. One of these is exercise, the kind that gives you time alone--quiet time--to think and flesh out ideas.
As a lifelong writer and runner, I can attest to the incredible effectiveness of running both in inspiring ideas and in providing time to flesh them out.
Just yesterday, during a much-needed eight-mile run, I came up with two entire novel story ideas. TWO. That's way better than my average of half an idea per week. During some runs, I come up with more than that, too. Sometimes they fill my head so full, I go straight to the computer when I get home (much to my husband's chagrin) just to expel the awful things.
I think it's the combination of new sights, sounds, smells, and people PLUS the time to play with these ideas without the commitment of writing anything down just yet. It's the perfect equation for magic.
Of course, there are a million ways and places to get inspired. Just ask agent/author Mandy Hubbard. She recently wrote about it on her blog. I've got the same question for you with a little twist.
What are you doing when you get your best ideas? Shopping? Jogging? Dancing? TV-watching? Babysitting?