Writing is supposed to be a hobby or profession you can practice well by staying inside at your desk. You can also contact other writers online, join writing streams, and be on social media to talk with readers and writers. So, technically it is not necessary to leave your desk if you want to write and publish.
Today I want to talk about why for me it is important to go outside often and why I think that is a boost for my writing life. As always, it’s different for everyone, and what’s right for me may not be the right thing for others.
At the moment, I try to go outside every day. It works well for me as we live in the country with the forest right behind my house. And I’m also at home with my baby. It would be different if I would have to work my day job. Still, I have always enjoyed going for walks and try to go hiking at least three times a week.
One of the benefits of walking in nature is that it relaxes me and calms my mind like almost nothing else. I always feel refreshed after a long walk. Things that weighed on my mind seem less worrying afterward. I have noticed that the more I go outside, the more balanced and centered I feel.
Taking walks in nature is, as I said, also a boost for my writing. I have different places in my surrounding area when I work on various projects. For example, I have a forest that reminds me of fairytales and one that reminds me more of an alien planet. There is also a swampy place that I often go to when I plot for Urban Fantasy projects. When I’m among trees and moving, ideas often float into my brain, as if my mind also moves while my feet are moving. Sometimes I also talk to the characters of my novels and ask them questions. Or they tell me about themselves. That also helps with plotting.
Another possibility is to listen to music that inspires you or go on a walk with someone else. Maybe even another writer so that you can exchange ideas or someone who likes to hear about your stories every now and then. My sister likes to listen to new plot ideas and gives me feedback for them. We also often take walks together.
Another thing that also helps me with writing is if I sit down or stand still for a moment in the forest. I listen to the sounds I hear, breathe in the smell of moss and leaves, and feel a soft breeze or the sunlight on my skin. When I write a scene that takes place in a forest, which is quite often the case as it is one of my favorite settings, I can come back to these memories and write the scene in more detail and more realistic. This works for other settings as well, of course. Recently I visited a moor that was not far from my home because a few scenes in my novel take place in a swamp. If you have an area close by that is similar to a setting in one of your projects: take advantage of that. It doesn’t have to be exactly the same. It will still help you to imagine that scene better, and your descriptions will improve. Here it is important to remember that you should never let descriptions of scenery get too long. Still, your settings will become unique if you have experienced them yourself.
And one thing that we can’t forget is that as writers we tend to spend a lot of time in front of the computer sitting down, which isn’t that healthy. Walking and breathing fresh air is also good for our bodies, which in turn will make writing longer possible without back and shoulder pain.
Do you like to go outside? And do you feel that it is a source of inspiration for you? Let me know!