The words have dried up.
I’ve changed the sentence seven times. Then changed it back seven times.
My brain is so fuzzy that I no longer remember my protagonist’s name.
I make one more flailing attempt to continue writing, but the signs are irrefutable. It’s time for a break. Or, in more exotic terms, a Mini Writing Retreat.
Like most writers, I have my favourite form of
writing break retreat. It involves a racing pulse, and pure and simple movement in the great outdoors. Its name is…
Running refuels my writing batteries to the point where I fear I might not be able to write if I couldn’t run (although I understand other authors somehow accomplish such a feat).
I have been a devout runner for many years, and my running practice and my mileage peak once the temperatures drop and the snow flies. Those are the days when I am extra inclined to “fake sick,” ditch my writing, and head outdoors for a run.
On one such recent day, snow had fallen non-stop overnight and the temperature was a brisk -11 degrees Celsius (minus 18c with windchill). Images of my favourite running trails tickled the edges of my addled brain. The laptop before me was soon powered off.
I grabbed my running gear. Even as the layering process began, I could already feel my head beginning to clear.
(And really, is there a more glamorous item of clothing than a balaclava? I think not.)
Meanwhile, my beautiful Dion running snowshoes—my white, orange and black beauties–were summoning me from the garage.
With the Dion twins at my feet, I stepped onto the trail. I could hardly believe my river valley had transformed into something even more magical overnight.
My co-writer/runner agreed, as was evident by her exuberant “Dashing Through The Snow” routine.
As always, I didn’t consciously think about my work-in-progress while I ran. Yet somehow the gnarly bits of plot and character that had eluded me when I was sitting before the laptop began sorting themselves out. They untangled themselves further with each crunchy snowshoe stride and each inhalation of chilled air.
When I eventually surfaced and parked my snowshoes back in my garage, I was ready to continue writing. I was also confident that whenever I next needed a Mini Writing Retreat, all I had to do was firmly strap on my snowshoes and re-enter my magical winter portal–from which I would again emerge refreshed and ready to resume my writing.