I happen to be owned by the most adorable dog in the universe. Winston the Wonder Dog is so smart, he can tell time. At exactly 3 pm each day, he begins his pre-walk activities. First he gets up from his bed to stand right next to my office chair. If that doesn’t catch my attention, he jumps on my lap. And if that doesn’t work, he places his paws on my shoulders and stares me down.
Sometimes I am not ready to walk at 3 pm. But I do. Because Winston is persistent, certainly. But because I have learned that every time I take a walk, I untie some knot in my writing. It does not fail.
For example, the other day I could not figure out how to introduce the breed of dog my MC owns into the story. It’s a point that matters but everything I tried seemed clunky. Three o’clock rolled around and there I was, accompanying Winston on his afternoon constitutional.
And halfway through the walk, I figured out how to do it! I’d had the MC ride his bike to the little corner grocery (the story’s set during WWII and this particular store is in the front room of a lady’s house, just like Lee’s grocery by my grandparents’ house in Seattle). What if I wrote this:
Hobie hopped off his bike. “Sorry, boy. You have to wait here.” With a huge sigh, Duke circled three times, then flopped on the bottom step. Mrs. Lee liked German Shepherds, all right. But she didn’t think they belonged in grocery stores.
It worked for me! At least for this draft.
Go take a walk. It does wonders for your writing. . .and your health, too!