Long walks as Wilder’s writing inspiration

“My spring-board has always been long walks. I drink a great deal, but I do not associate it with writing.”

—Thornton Wilder

Almost all Americans will be familar with Thornton Wilder (1897 – 1975). I would venture a guess that it is a rare American school that has not performed Our Town on its stage.

I like his quote, crediting physical activity (in his case, long walks) with bouts of creativity. Although admitting to being an enthusiastic drinker, he obviously does not feel that those moments are the fount of creativity.

I think most authors will admit that physical exercise allows the mind to wander and to devise plot twists or character development.

Personally, I feel my creativity bubbles over when I walk, hike or swim. These all allow me time to muse over characters and scenes in my mind, and I always return to the computer refreshed. Downhill skiing has the same effect on me. The combination of the exercise and that fresh, mountain air always leaves me itching to write at the end of an exhausting day.

Although I also jog, I never feel those bouts of creativity on my jogs, although I have plenty of frends who swear by it – so it must be something wrong with ,me.

So why not take a page from Thornton Wilder’s book? Enjoy some vigorous, outdoor exercise AND watch that book practically write itself (or at least straighten out key plot points). Who can argue with that?

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