>Tips for Writers: Take a Hike!

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It isn’t writers’ block exactly. It’s more like writers’ knot. Surely you know the feeling. You’re working on something and you can’t get a particular plot point right, or you aren’t sure where the relationship between a couple of characters is going, or you can’t decide whether . . . . You get the idea. You’re tied up.

It happens to everyone. My favorite way of untying that knot is to take a walk. Now, I happen to live out in the country, so I don’t have to go far to be walking through nature, where I can gaze at a rushing creek or listen to the rustling leaves. But I used to live a city, and I loved walking along city blocks just as much as I like walking through the overgrown field behind my house. (Probably more, given my hatred of ticks.)

Invariably, wherever it is that I’m walking, ideas start flowing inside my head. I’ve begun walks for this purpose where the answer came to me as soon as I was out the door. Other times it didn’t come until I was almost home. But it almost always happens that the knot slips away when I’m actually not trying so hard to pull it apart.

Then the trick is to remember the answer that has come to you. I try to remember a notebook and pen for those occasions, so I can jot down whatever the revelation happened to be. I’m usually then keen to get back to the studio to get back to work.

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