I’ve written about my need to ‘stew‘ in my story in greater detail here. I know this isn’t the most effective process for everyone, but for me, sometimes getting away from the actual process of writing can help me to develop my story much more quickly, and effectively. Here are three tips to get away from your keyboard and into your story:
I wrote an entire post about how I walk to write here, and it’s still true, though these days I also love a good bike ride too. I’m very fortunate to live in a city with access to nature virtually everywhere I turn, and I try and take advantage of this every opportunity that I can get. Getting out of the house, away from my computer, and back into the world, reminds me that the story I’m writing needs to feel lived.
There are some days that lend themselves to sitting hunched at my computer and writing furiously more than others. And then there are some days that take my breath away. On the latter days, I try and get out to experience the world; to live that that moment and take in the atmosphere with every one of my five senses.
Last February there was a particularly atmospheric day, where the ice hung in the air and created this strange fog haze everywhere. I took the dogs out to run at McKinnon Flats, and I was struck by the quiet beauty of it all. That day was unusual and it is emblazoned in my memory because of its oddity. It was, and still is, perfect inspiration for my writing.
I can’t get all my inspiration from Calgary though, which is why I’ve suggested travel as an excellent opportunity for writing inspiration. This summer I was in England, and the lush greenery, humidity, and stunning history and architecture provided plenty of fodder for my writing, and a very different atmosphere than Calgary.
I know there are some people who absolutely cannot have any kind of distractions while they write. I don’t mind a few distractions, in fact sometimes they’re quite helpful. The dogs wandering around don’t really bother me, nor do people doing chores, or even chatting. What I do require absolute solitude for is ‘stewing in my story.’ When I’m doing this, it feels as though I’m watching a movie, or recounting a memory. I go inside my mind, and live there for a while. Distractions feel as though I’m being wrenched back to reality, and it is a highly unwelcome feeling. So I know that when I’m going to ‘stew’, I have to establish my surroundings to accommodate that solitude and quiet.
How else can you get away from your keyboard and into your story? Tell me in the comments below!
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