Monday, October 22, 2012

Writer Therapy Bloghop

So, I'm at my keyboard, diligently getting all the "business" taken care of (emails, tweets, Facebook, etc.) and then it's time to write.
It's time to write.
I've got nothing.
It's time for...


Usually, when I'm writing a book I try to end in the middle of something-the idea being that I will pick up where I left off during the next writing session.
Minimize the chance of the blank page winning the stare down the following day.
I've found it to be a good strategy.
But sometimes at the end of the scene I just cannot think of what to write next.
The temptation is to check email, Twitter, FB, Pinterest, and so on.
But let's face it, fun distractions almost never inspire that next scene.

For me, this is what works...taking a walk.

I love walking in the woods in the autumn. Unfortunately hunters ruin my fun by making me fear for my life, but there are some places where they're not allowed.

















I love walking in old cemeteries. This one is called Hope Cemetery.
All those markers tell me that whatever I'm worried about probably won't matter a hundred years from now.
And one my novels was actually inspired by a graveyard. Win-Win.









But my very favorite place to walk is the beach.
The sounds are soothing, the air is revitalizing. 
More often than not, a mile or so later I have at least a seedling of an idea.
Sometimes more.
It must have something to do with the rhythm of walking.
I like the beach best when it is deserted.
In the winter I'm often the only one on it (aside from my dogs).
It's damn cold. But worth it.


Speaking of dogs...here are two of mine.
They're always up for a walk, and they don't write books.
Sometimes that makes their company therapeutic.
They are experts at living in the moment.
Here's my video "Dogs in Fog" (yes, Suessish, I know).

video

28 comments:

  1. Walking is a huge help when stuck! I agree wholeheartedly. And sorry you can't walk safely in the woods. :-( The trees always feel like supportive friends (maybe I've read too much Tolkien. LOL).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I don't think it's too much Tolkein. Trees offer quiet strength and acceptance.

      Delete
  2. I don't really have the luxury of walking on a beach. I don't live near Lake Erie or the ocean, so I hear all this walking along the beach talk and end up feeling jealous, lol. But walking does work when stuck. :) And walking with awesome dogs is even better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry to make you jealous. If it's any consolation we will probably be moving away from the beach soon.

      Delete
  3. The beach is not close to anywhere I live, so that's out for me. But reading about the beach could work. :) Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Walking is definitely therapeutic. =)

    And, I'm pretty much obsessed with old cemeteries. I love reading all the worn inscriptions and coming up with the person's story...at least my version of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love to meet other taphophiles :) I just started a whole page devoted to cemeteries/headstones.

      Delete
  5. Very good strategy to leave in the middle of a scene. That's pretty much what I try and do, or right after the action has died down. Walking is necessary. God for you! Get that flow moving, come back and flow all over your paper. Or keyboard. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I don't leave off in the middle of a scene, but I always start in the middle of the action--which isn't exactly the same thing because I don't go back and add unnecessary prelude--but it works in a similar fashion and motivates the creative juices. Loved your scenes. The puppies are sooo cute.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by-let me know when you have that easy-add button on your website :) The puppies say "thanks, we are even cuter in 'person'."

      Delete
  7. Walking is one of the time-tested means of therapy for just about anything, but I agree for a writer it allows juices to replenish and ideas time to come back out of hiding. Those locations are beautiful. I wish we had something similar near me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am thoroughly spoiled in terms of scenic beauty. We're planning a move and I'm trying to absorb as much Maine awesomeness as I can (and taking lots of photos too).

      Delete
  8. I have two dogs, too. They're both English labs (so smaller than the American labs), and just way too much fun. Loved the video -- and jealous you have a beach to walk on! We have a lake here, but there's like no beach really.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, your Labs would love "my" beach, lol. My dogs like to wade in the water but they haven't yet tried to swim.

      Delete
  9. Hey there! I love your post! Thank you so much for sharing. I was so excited to hear that you're inspired from graveyards because so am I. So many people get weirded out, but for me there's nothing better than a quiet walk through the cemetery. Some of my best names and ideas have come from that. Have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Being a lover of the outdoors, your pictures made me wish I were out walking in one of them! Unfortunately I live too far from the ocean for a beach walk, but the other two are possible.

    Reminds me of hiking with my brother. In the dead of Winter. We're alone with feet and feet of snow around, also surrounded by snow covered peaks! It's also freaking cold, but worth it.

    And are great when you're setting up a scene in a book... that takes place in the Winter. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I especially like reading or writing about a season when I'm not actually experiencing it at the time - all the good bits stand out and the annoyances fade away.

      Delete
  11. Wonderful photos, Rhiann! So atmospheric. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love old cemeteries. I live near three I've often walked and taken pictures in, and there are a few others in nearby cities I like to explore also. And there's one a short walk from my paternal grandma's house in Pennsylvania. My favorite one, though, is Granary Burial Ground in Boston. I've done a lot of volunteer work for the website Find A Grave over the years, with adding interments, photographs, famous bios, etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm putting together this cemetery lover's bloghop thing...I mentioned the Granary Burial Ground on my Taphophilia page (I used to live in Boston).

      Delete
  13. I love cemeteries--they're great fodder for stories on so many levels! Historically, the shifting populations of a place can be traced as well as medical maladies (my hometown cemetery has a "children's cemetery in it--most of them died from influenza in the mid-1800s) . Creatively they provide setting and names (I adore turn of the century names).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I love the hidden stories and the old names too. A large part of the novel I've just finished takes place in a cemetery.

      Delete
  14. ooo wow, I love your pictures! You've got some great scenery around you! I'm jealous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I am extremely luck to live in such a scenic place-tourism is our state's bread and butter, especially along the coast.

      Delete
  15. If I had a blog I'd definitely want to cemetery blog-hop with you! When Ruthie and I were in Johnstown this weekend researching our ancestors, we walked through Colonial Cemetery. On its own it has (much like the town) a cool air of historic significance. But add the **swirling steam** rising from the gravestones and tree trunks and wow, that was some inspirational (and spooky) atmosphere.

    ReplyDelete
  16. P.S. I have a small admission to make. Shortly before visiting Johnson Hall, a residence often visited by my ancestor Robert Adems, I made a silent request to him to give us a sign if his spirit was present. Fifteen minutes later I realized that perhaps the giant {biggest I've ever seen} rainbow in the sky by the Hall might be his answer. And yet I wanted more. So I whispered to the air: okay, if that's really you, then make it a double rainbow. It wasn't until we got back to our hotel room when I was looking through all the photos that I realized there was a double rainbow. It just wasn't visible to the eye at the time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooo, shivers! Well, clearly you need to get blogging so we can make this cemetery tour bloghop happen. Get on it, girl!

      Delete