Running Away To Write
At the end of last year, I stumbled upon a creative outlet that would unknowingly change my life … That outlet being writing.
Yet, to think that I enjoy writing is somewhat of a surprise. In school, I barely passed English Studies, and frankly, I’ve always been more of a talker. Therefore, I never expected writing to be something that I’d enjoy, let alone something I’d receive money for.
However, as with writing comes the time when you sit to write and instead of words effortlessly taking shape, you instead hit a roadblock. One where even though you might have everything laid out and ready to put to paper, for some reason you can’t seem to find the words, let alone form a sentence.
And while there is a multitude of tactics that we can utilize to overcome, and even circumnavigate this feeling that one would commonly refer to as writer's block, there is one thing that I’m glad I learned to be the key that unlocks the floodgates of creativity for me in times where words and sentences seem to evade me.
... What is this magical cure-all? Going for a run.
Because once my feet hit the pavement, as I regulate my breathing, while I pace myself up a hill or around a corner, it’s as if my subconscious opens it’s previously locked doors and says … “Oh you’ve been waiting out here for quite some time, why don’t you come on in?”
Now, there’s not a specific amount of time spent running when this happens. However, this usually occurs when I reach a state of flow. One where I feel as though I'm flying, where even though I'm running here on earth, I feel as though I'm light-years away skipping between clouds and running into a steady stream of new ideas.
It's as if out of nowhere, while I'm dodging between people, while I'm covered in sweat that the flood gates of my mind are opened, and ideas begin streaming in from my subconscious.
When that moment finally occurs, I'll either continue running and allow the ideas to percolate and take shape. Or if it's a particularly fascinating idea, I'll divert myself off my trail to quickly jot down whatever idea has come to me. Then once I've written out what might be my next post, I'm back pounding the pavement allowing my body to fly while my mind is relaxing.
And even though I will never fulfil my dream of running the one-hundred-meter sprint at the Olympics, I take solace in the idea that perhaps the path that was chosen for me all along was to write and run, to run and write.
Which is why each and every day I wake up, I walk, I write and then I run. Why? Because as Thoreau so eloquently put it ...
The moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.
So if you find yourself stuck and lost for words, instead of forcing yourself to try to put pen to paper or words to a sentence, give your mind a break and get your body moving. You may very well find within the first few kilometres that the words you were looking for were there all along. They were simply waiting for the space to be able to take form.
And on that note, I bid you farewell, because as the rain is falling down outside, I’ve realised that now is the most perfect time to go for a run.
Now, I want to hear from you! What do you do when you hit a creative block? Let me know in the comments below.