Saturday, September 5, 2009

Blue Jello and Redi-Whip

I began my 10-lesson writing course (the subject of this blog) with the intention of maintaining the discipline that learning requires, but without sacrificing the fun of the journey. I wasn't sure that was possible, but now I know it is. I'm having lots of fun.

The leader of my new writer's group handed me a book by Julia Cameron, The Vein of Gold: A Journey to Your Creative Heart. This is not a book for everyone; in fact, all of it is probably not for any one. It's less like a how-to book and more like a cafeteria: take what you like and pass the rest on by. Two topics that I grabbed eagerly for, the way my children used to grab for the blue Jello and Redi-Whip, were walking and morning writing.

I've been a fan of walking since childhood
. I've also always been a morning person. When I've had my choice, I've written in the morning. All the same, I never would have thought to put these two things together, and in this order: walking in the morning, and then writing--until I read a section of The Vein of Gold. The book doesn't actually say to put them together. This is my discovery and, I think, an improvement on the book.

After you walk or run for 20 minutes, you trigger the release of endorphins, the proverbial "runner's high" that happens to walkers too. You can actually feel it when it happens: a funny sensation at the base of your skull, behind your ears. Walk as long after this as you like, but then go home, get out your pen, and write away. I think you'll be amazed. Sometimes writing in the morning can be like skimming scum off a pond, but this should feel more like riding a jet-ski or diving for pearls in the deep. Try it.


  1. This is true about walking and running. It always helps me with creativity.

  2. Hey Jessica,

    It's good to have confirmation from someone else about this. Thanks!