Friday, October 19, 2012

Writing Therapy


I can tell you first off that writing is my therapy. I knew this at a very early age, when I needed to write. And I still do, of course. This little post is for the Writing Therapy Blog Hop http://www.writertherapy.com/blog/2012/10/03/blog-hop/

When I must get into my writer brain, after spending time promoting my music or singing, etc—I force myself to write any kind of crazy garbage-- anything that dribbles out. I discovered a great exercise, where I set a timer for ten, or twenty minutes, and just lay it out on paper. Yes, writing by hand. When I slow down I can doodle until my subconscious thoughts catch up—or I catch up with them.

But my completely, most favorite, and foolproof way to write, particularly a rough draft, is to go for a 5k run. Oh my god, if I could get all the writers running, they’d see the effortlessness at which their words flow. While this is my most favorite technique for writing flow. I find it a little different for revisions, where I need to be alert, curt, and critical of my work--those are pure coffee days.

It is essential for writers, sitting for long hours, to move before, or after writing. 
Think of yourself as stagnant energy, and moving your body creates movement--right? This works for the entire being—the mind and the imagination in my experience.

So in Michelle Obama’s words: Get Moving!
Or is it Let’s Move? In any case, go and write, or write, and then get moving.  

18 comments:

Deirdre said...

I agree- a run really gets juices flowing! Happy weekend!

Ae Grace (Abigail) said...

Oh my. I don't know if I could go for a 5k run. I never tried to do that, so maybe I could, but I'd have to have my inhaler on me. After a mile, my chest burns like icy daggers plunged deep into my lungs. It's very uncomfortable and really sucks.

However, it's awesome that you do that for a therapy. :) It's a great way to get the mind going and ready to write some more.

Jamie Krakover said...

Great post! We all writer because we have to! And my goodness, I wish I could run! I envy people that can, but it's definitely not for me. However I 100% agree with the get moving, it's important to healthy and active. As writers we "couch surf" a lot and if we can't stay healthy we can't write!

Aspiring Author said...

100% agree that we write as therapy in most cases. In a lot ways "writer therapy" is just another part of the process of writing. Congrats to you in the running. I wish I could do that but old knees preclude that, but I certainly understand it!

Rhiann Wynn-Nolet said...

Yes-must move oxygenated blood to the brain in order for it to work properly! Running doesn't work for me, but walking does :)

Sarah J. said...

I need to get a double jogger so I can tote my tots around town for a run! I've never really enjoyed running, but if it's going to help my writing, I can reconsider :)

Karen lee Hallam said...

I was a very, very, late bloomer with the running. I had many excuses. But I'll admit, getting my shelter pup four years ago opened my horizons. Running showed me, I had the discipline to run, and I applied that discipline to sitting down and getting the words out. And a manuscript was born.
I always tell my friends who start out jogging--go slow, always enjoy it. Breath deeply. The pace increases on it's own--kind of like writing that WIP. Of course, anything that gets your heart rate up is superb.

the type writer said...

ah yes...running. my old friend. i have a neck injury, but it's my goal to get running again--therapy indeed!!!

i love you idea of purging everything onto paper...might have to try that sometime :)

Chersti Nieveen said...

Agreed! I totally want to train to run a 5k (or even 10k). Need to find some better running shoes, though. But my treadmill is one of my biggest forms of therapy - really helps with any stress.

I also love that you pointed out how writing is therapy. Honestly, if I didn't have time to write I would go crazy. It helps keep me sane, and I'm so much happier when I've been writing.

Ellie Garratt said...

You've reminded me of why I loved running so much, Karen. I live five minutes from a two mile stretch of the sea, which is perfect for running.

Glad to have found you via the blog hop, and that writing is a therapy for you. I think for me telling stories was a therapy as a child. I just wish I had put them on paper!

Kevin said...

Running really is a wonderful thing. If you asked me a little over a year ago if I thought running was fun, I'd have told you no way!

I'm also a late bloomer when it comes to running. Now I run with my brother for longer runs. It's a great way to burn excess energy and just plain feel good.

Of course after my brother and I did our 20 mile run I just took a looong nap. xD

Lissa Cori Bair Combs said...

Thanks for sharing your writing therapy. Running/exercise is a great way to decompress. I needed this reminder.

Carrie-Anne said...

Running was never my strong suit, even before I had all that metal put in my lower right leg, but I've always loved taking a good long walk. Because of the metal in my bones, it's probably not a good idea to take an extremely long or arduous walk, but I haven't let myself become an invalid since I've had to put some modifications on walking.

Tina said...

I'm not a runner anymore (shin splints plus near-zero cartilage in one knee make it painful and not very enjoyable anymore). However, yoga gets me humming! I have to do continuous versions of yoga (the holding and meditating only makes my brain race) but once I'm into and in the zone--it's a thing of beauty. Free mind, free body, free spirit. (Is that too frou-frou crunchy?)

Karen lee Hallam said...

Thank you all for sharing your stories. I love this blog hop, and very grateful to have met you all--thanks Writer Therapy!
For those of you who cannot run, it sounds like you've got ways to get your body moving-and yes, yoga, is great. I meditate right after a run with a playlist of tibetan singing bowls--anything that'll empty my over active mind for 30 minutes. Happy writing & rewriting writers. May the flow be with you. LOL! :D

Caryn Caldwell said...

I'm exactly the same way! Sometimes my best writing comes when I'm in an almost dream-like state, like at night or when exercising. But revisions work best when I'm alert and all there.

rubab said...

for me inspiration is a good quote. it can also be a novel or a short story. and the method to gather thoughts is...........long drive. that way i m away from my people and close to me

Karen lee Hallam said...

I love a good quote to remind me of what I already feel, but hadn't brought to the surface. Though, inspiration for me comes in many, often unexpected forms. May you be blessed by the muses. :)Thanks for commenting everyone!