Tuesday, April 12, 2011

J is for Jog

No, I'm not talking about jogging. I don't do that if I can help it (when we first moved to Berlin, my son thought people only ran to catch a bus).

Unstable walk

I'm talking about jogging your mind, jostling your muse, getting the creative juices flowing.  How? Go for a jog. Or a walk, a bike ride, a run. Get out of the house/office, get some fresh air (avoid city streets; if you're deep in thought, you might as well wear a target for muggers, not to mention the hazards of crossing if you're not really paying attention to traffic).

Aside from the obvious health benefits of physical activity, it enhances creativity.

You don't have to go for a hard run or spend an hour at the gym. Moderate activity (a brisk walk) stimulates creative function in the brain immediately after you finish the activity AND for a good two hours after. (For real: check this out.)

Wrestling with an idea? Haven't seen your muse in a while? Go for a walk (jog, run, bike ride) when you'll have some time to write afterward. When I'm struggling, I sit down to write in my journal after a walk, and the problems, more often than not, resolve themselves.

And your back will thank you.

How do you overcome creative block?


  1. I find doing the washing up works wonders! Although I am so lucky to live in the middle of the countryside; just 50 yards up the road is a beautiful, sunny orchard. That's where my muse hides out a lot of the time.

  2. Great tip, Alison. I definitely don't go outside and walk often enough!

  3. I'm definitely more of a walker than a jogger! Walking is measured, calm, ad you're not all sweaty when you've finished.

    But either way - jog or walk - each is great exeercise for the brain :)

  4. I actually enjoy jogging, as well as walking. That's when I get some of my best ideas.

  5. I do this a lot and I often find that I do my best "writing" when I'm running.

  6. Angeline: Walking outside is the best!

    Andrea: Thanks--it's good for the muse (and the heart). ;)

    DU: Exactly. :)

    Luana: Me too.

    Julie: I wish I liked to run, but for me a walk is the same!