Not Gone & Back At It: Walking, Creativity, & Writing

Writing Inspiration

It’s been a while.

Many things occurred over the past two months, but this blog isn’t about that. What I can say is I’m now a full-time writer. That means scheduled blog posts.

To those of you reading my blog and visiting my site with continued frequency: thank you.

A Reflection on Creativity

Before I get back into the three-act structure, I’m going to ease into things with a bit of reflection on creativity and writing.

I went for a walk this morning along the Red River. It was a moment where I could clear my head and think about writing, nothing but writing. (Well, except for a System of a Down song that got stuck in my head.)

That’s a picture of the Red I took this morning—part of what I saw. I was wearing my Birkenstocks. I kept thinking about snakes. Next time I’ll wear shoes. Anyway—

Past and current writers walk. I know a few writers who walk. Some of them write while walking: They dictate. Walking stimulates creativity. Stanford University researched this. Sitting is stagnancy: There is no movement and change of scenery; therefore, the brain isn’t stimulated. In fact, that study states, “Walking outside produced the most novel and highest quality analogies.”

Basically, the lesson here is: Don’t sit. Walk.

Think & Question: Never Stop

During my walk, I was reflecting on a short story I’m writing and those I’ve already written. Primarily, I thought about the motivation of a woman in my latest short story: What did she want? What was her purpose? Why was she in that diner? What was her identity? What was the endgame?

This led to reflecting on the purpose of the short story: What’s the message? What’s the reason for this story to exist? Why would a reader want to read this story? What would they get out of this story? Would they feel as though the time they spent reading it be worthwhile? Would they be able to experience what I hoped while I wrote it?

All viable questions.

I had few answers.

Even so, this wasn’t wasted time. I saw the flaws. I know I need to fix things.

But, Pause, It’s Okay.

This means I’ll be taking a step back—hopefully, a brief step back—from this story. I’ll be researching and workshopping for a short time. Then I’ll get back to that woman in the diner and finish the story.

I’m on a schedule, though, so as time slips by, the window for me to complete this short story gets smaller. That’s a great impetus to write and do what I need to do to finish what will hopefully a quality story.

What’s the point of this? Well, if anything, it’s okay to take a step back. Put things on a pause for just a bit and get back into it with renewed vigor.

Take a walk and think. It’ll do you good.

My Next Post

My next post will wrap up the three-act structure by defining the Act II and III climaxes.

Author: Chuck Lang

Chuck Lang is a writer of science fiction and horror. Influenced by his years as a carpenter, four years serving in the US Navy, and his fifteen years teaching literature, he holds an MFA in Writing (Fiction) from Lindenwood University. After completing his first manuscript, the supernatural horror novel DEAD GODS, in 2019, he has begun work on its two sequels, DEAD GODS: INHERITANCE and DEAD GODS: RESOLUTION. He is currently developing two additional projects, an urban fantasy horror novel and a military science fiction novel. He lives and writes near the frequently flooded Red River in Fargo, ND with his wife and two redhead sons.

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