Writing From A Distance
The other day, after writing the first draft of my latest screenplay, I drove to Butano State Park and went for a hike. Now, you might be asking, “How does this relate to writing?” As most of you know, writing, in most cases, occurs in solitude with a focused state of mind. Even a writer, who writes in a noisy cafe, cube, cafeteria, or any other public place, writes in the solitude of his mind. Often, we, writers must make an effort to get-out-and-about. That’s code for, “Put down the cup of coffee and step away. Get out of your sweatpants and wear something with buttons. Go play outside and get some sun on your face.” So, that’s exactly what I did: I drove to a state park, one with lots of trees, and hiked for hours.
The hike allowed my mind and body to somewhat reverse roles. Instead of sitting in a chair with a focused mind, one working on action, dialogue, and characters, etc., my mind was wandering freely, taking in the sights and scents around me, and simply enjoying my carefree afternoon. I was taking a mental breather from writing, which I view as a recovery period, an active-resting period, unlike watching reruns of your favorite T.V. show.
The hike also provided me with plenty of fresh air, woodsy scenery, and heart-pumping cardio. I was in such a good place mentally and physically, that, perhaps, I got carried away and lost track of time, because the following day, my legs were a bit sore. Yeah, okay, I’ll admit it: they were really sore. But, the hike was so much fun.
Speaking from one writer to another, do yourself a favor: get-out-and-about, even if it’s for an afternoon. Give your writing chair a break. Get out-and-about with fresh air and sunshine (bookstores, coffee shops, and movie theaters don’t count.). Not only will you be glad you stepped away from your writing station for a bit, but so will your characters. Sometimes, one’s characters need fresh air, too. Know what I’m saying?
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Here are a few pictures from my hike. Enjoy and stay tuned!