I had the blessed opportunity of attending Writing & Illustrating for Young Readers (WIFYR) last month and hearing YA author Kris Chandler tell me to run a marathon. Just kidding. She actually said *not* to run a marathon (even though she herself runs marathons), which I appreciated because I'm often tempted. I'll take it from the expert. Running 26.2 miles takes too much time. Especially for writers. Especially for slow runners and writers like me.
What Kris said I *should* do is exercise. Easy, right?? Way better than having to write a three-paragraph story based on five random objects pulled from a cruel writing professor's sack!
Maybe for some of us, jogging is worse than a writing prompt. But it works. Here's how: exercise flushes cortisol from the brain, a stress hormone that makes it hard to think creatively. Solitary exercise, like walking, helps your brain dig into the subconscious and find unexpected solutions to problems. Give your brain some endorphins and extra oxygen, and your characters might start shouting their secrets in your ears. Kris was referencing this article, if you want proof.
Now I'm thinking of getting one of those tall computer desks that straddles a treadmill. And a treadmill.
When and where do you get most of your creative inspiration, if not while out for a jog? What do you like better: a writing exercise or real exercise?