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“My legs are working a treadmill for my mind…”

I’ve noticed that no end of writers so often say that going for a walk (especially with dogs, which appear to be obligatory when you’re a writer. I myself am a dog owner) is very much part of the process.

It helps clear the head, and get the ideas flowing. I know that when I’m stuck, staring at a screen certainly doesn’t help, so I’ll pop the lead on Scamp and we’ll make a bid for freedom together. Once I’m walking, the blood starts pumping and, hey presto, ideas pop into my head.

But how do I make note of them? Some people always carry a pen and paper, but I don’t like to stop to make notes for fear that the walking and the thinking are somehow interconnected (as though my legs are working a treadmill for my mind). Instead, I dictate ideas onto a recording app on my phone. What a God send! The ideas aren’t polished, but they are nuggets, nevertheless.

It can help with creating action scenes, too. ‘Talking’ a scene out rather than writing can help with the sense of immediacy and urgency. I walk faster, talk faster, and the action gets more speeded up too. In addition, dialogue flows more naturally. And when I get home, I input what I’ve dictate and then polish it.

Who knew that sometimes the best way of writing is to get away from your computer and not write at all?

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