Tuesday, 15 January 2008

A new leaf

Or rather, a newsletter from Leaf Books. As cheery as ever it really brightened up this rainy morning. I really would recommend subscribing, for its sheer jolliness as well as its informative content.

Amongst other things it announced the new Leaf Microfiction comp, with a deadline of 31st May which leaves plenty of time to come up with some ideas.

After the initial joy of the above newsletter, a perusal of my favourite blogs and a new post on my own blog my day went all slow and sluggish. I spent nearly four hours not doing very much at all and not significantly adding to my word count. My Man responded to my post-lunchtime moan with one of his favourite solutions to most things -'Well go for a run then’. I knew it made sense and the rain had stopped, so go for a run I did. By the time I had reached the end of the street I had remembered that the central idea for my novel was ‘pretty damn good’(actually I think I used the less modest phrase ‘bloody brilliant’) and that yes I could carry it off, after half a mile my characters were spouting reams of dialogue in my head and by the time I got back I had to use my last few bars of energy to race to the computer and type it all in before it disappeared back into the running ether. Result - over 1,000 new words. I think there is a moral in there somewhere- something along the lines of ‘get the running bit done earlier in the day.’

I was thinking about the lovely Sylvia’s observation (see ‘quote of the week’) about self doubt. There is something about running that makes you believe in yourself again, as if by getting off your bum and moving your legs a bit more quickly than normal you have proved you are not a complete physical loss and it then transfers in your head to other aspects of your life. That’s how it works for me anyway. Anyone got any other examples of what works for you??

5 comments:

CTaylor said...

I can relate. Back in 2006 when I actually *ahem* used to go the gym I used to get all kinds of weird and wonderful ideas for short stories when I was running on the treadmill. With a blank wall in front of me and nothing to entertain me my brain provided its own entertainment by dreaming up story ideas.

Now I'm inflicted with Writerus Fatus Arsus and rarely move from the soft knitting has a similar effect.

Must get moving again though. I tire my brain out a lot these days, but not my body.

KAREN CLARKE said...

I totally agree. My best ideas always come when I'm out walking Molly through the fields, which I do every day come rain or shine. There's something about putting one foot in front of the other that seems to open m'brain up - or something! That didn't sound very poetic. Keeps me fit as well!

HelenMH said...

I managed nearly 2000 words today sitting on a train. It made me wish I spent more time travelling by train rather than driving. You can't really write while you're driving ...

Moondreamer said...

I can't go running, ever since I had surgery on my back, but gardening works for me (not s'posed to garden either, but pottering around is ok!) especially my herb patch.

If I spend an hour tidying it up, I feel good in so many ways! I smell divine for the rest of the day, I feel like I've achieved something I can see the results of immediately and then every time I go in or out of the house, and I have been so lost in the moment for a while that everything that was bothering me has disappeared!

:o)

Sarah Dunnakey said...

Moondreamer - That sounds lovely, very therapeutic.
My herb pots are looking a bit bedraggled at the moment but the thyme plants are struggling through and the scent of their leaves really give me a lift.
One of my 'resolutions' for this year is to spend some time each day in the garden (whatever the weather)