What the heck does fitness have to do with being a fiction writer? Plenty, since I just found out I am in the worst shape of my life. Apparently 10 years of sitting behind a desk and walking only about half a mile a day can do that to you. Who would have thought?

Seriously, though, I hate being this out of shape. I spend too much time behind my desk, or not enough time if you speak to my commercial copywriting clients and my fans who are eagerly awaiting my next work of fiction.

C.S.Lewis famously walked six to eight miles every afternoon or ‘rambled’ across the beautiful English countryside after writing each morning. Tolkien was said to do the same. Flannery O’Connor, a writer with whom my own style has been compared, wrote in the mornings then spent the afternoons ‘being Flannery’ which typically meant barn chores, walking, or tending to her collection of exotic fowl and chicken.

I need to walk and think. I plot my books while walking on my treadmill. I can’t tell you how many plot elements of “I Believe You” appeared after a particularly good walk on the treadmill. Now that I am writing “Salt and Light” as part of NaNoWriMo, I find myself drawn back to the treadmill and morning yoga classes online.

Writers need to move…movement fuels creativity. I am not quite sure why this is so, but I know that I am not the only writer who finds that walking helps the muse. Perhaps we’re busy running from her. Who knows?

jeanne-with-her-muse

A portrait of the author with her muse. That’s my muse, Sal, a Brooklyn thug who wields a big hammer when I need to work. Thanks to artist Sue Sudekum for conceptualizing Sal for me.

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