For over two years as I’ve been working on my novel, I’ve also been working as a dog walker. My hours vary depending on how many doggies need walking or cats need caring. Sometimes after a busy day, I just want to fall on the floor and never get up again. But, in general, I think this physical job has helped my writing more than hinder it.
Get Out and Get Going
Physical activity that doesn’t require critical thinking is a known way to combat writer’s block.
Writing is all about what’s going on in your head, very cerebral. Getting out and walking for hours a day means I can turn off the part of my brain that does all the writing. This allows the creative juices to work in the background and solve the plot issues I was having troubles with, or think of new scenes and characters.
Physical activity that doesn’t require critical thinking is a known way to combat writer’s block. While writer’s block hasn’t been a major problem for me recently (knock on wood), being able to put writing on the backburner means I’m not getting creatively drained.
Interesting People and Places
The people we pass and sometimes talk to, add to my internal catalog of character traits.
My job involves spending lots of time with many different types of dogs with lots of personalities. I’ve dabbled with an idea about a dog-walker having to save a dog that secretly belonged to a secret service agent.
But mostly, it’s the places we walk and the people we meet along the way that offer the inspiration.
While out with my fur friends, I’ve discovered many a favourite tree and plenty of inspiring scenery. The people we pass and sometimes talk to, add to my internal catalog of character traits; whether appearance, mannerisms, or personality based.
People are endlessly interesting.
Nature and the Creative Soul
Being in a happy place is great for motivation. Motivation is great for writing.
In my last post, I wrote about the healing power of nature. Especially when it gets warm (for like two months in Canada), I find the green trees and the bright sun fill my soul with bliss. Even though I find winter a little soul-crushing after December, I can still find the beauty.
Even without the direct inspiration, nature is what keeps my state-of-being in a happy place. Being in a happy place is great for motivation. Motivation is great for writing.
I will always find joy in nature and my job allows me to be out in it a lot. Sometimes I do end up a sweaty, dog-hair covered mess, but there’s always an underlying joy that allows me to keep writing.