Over 15 years ago, when I was in high school, I remember meeting another writer on my cross country team. We would jog every day, and we would talk about our stories. Today, we both still write, and we both still run.
There is a link between running and writing. Many of my other writing friends jog, and Neil Gaimon himself has been seen plodding along in his running gear.
Running, apart from being a great cardio exercise, is great for spurring creativity and building endurance—two things that writers need.
Let’s delve in further. Running spurs creativity. With all of the distractions in today’s world, it is hard to turn everything off and have some uninterrupted moments of peace. Running is mind clearing, so you have time for your subconscious to develop stories. TED speaker, Tim Urban, talks about procrastination helping creativity—giving people time to let their ideas stew. I’d argue that running expedites that creative process. As you run, and your blood is pumping oxygen to your brain, your mind is whirring with ideas. You might not be focusing on them while you ache for air on a steep hill, but your subconscious is working its magic.
Endurance isn’t built overnight, and unless you’re Jack Keuroac, neither is a novel. Putting one foot in front of the other, building up miles, is the same steady endurance that writers need to follow through with their stories. It’s a discipline that carries over into the other areas of your life.
Joyce Carol Oates, in her ode to running, said that “the twin activities of running and writing keep the writer reasonably sane and with the hope, however illusory and temporary, of control.”
So what are you waiting for? Get outside, and free your writer’s block!
My Favorite Running Gear for Writers:
My ASICS running shoes (I will not run in any other shoe)
My Audible Book (Right now it’s The Cruel Prince by Holly Black)
Master has given Dobby a sock! (You know, so I feel free when I run)