The more years we spend writing, the more we learn about our own writing process, about what works well for us and what doesn't. A strategy that helps one writer might hinder another and there's no one right way to take a book from concept to completion. One discovery I've made while working on my novels is that movement helps my writing.
When drafting isn't going as well as I'd like, I have a tendency to simply sit and stare at my computer screen or to give in to the distraction of social media. But by getting up out of my chair and walking while I dictate my words, I find that I'm less distracted by the Internet, less likely to get hung up on my last sentence. In turn, the words flow more easily and I usually accomplish far more than I would have while sitting.
Of course, getting up and moving provides health benefits as well as benefits for my writing. As authors, it's easy to spend hours and hours sitting in front of our computers. For someone like me, who works at a computer for my day job as well, those hours can really add up. So getting to my feet and moving around is a good thing in more ways than one.
I’ve never actually tried typing while walking on a treadmill and I don’t know how good I’d be at it. However, since I use Dragon NaturallySpeaking to dictate my stories, I don’t have to worry about typing. Although I started out by trying to dictate my first drafts on a treadmill, I’ve since discovered that I do better simply pacing around my office, mostly because I have a tendency to stop walking when I need a moment to think. On the treadmill, that can be a tad perilous, so pacing while wearing a headset microphone works best for me.
Even though I know that my words flow better when I get up and walk around while I write, I don’t do it as often as I should. But I know the benefits and I’m going to make an effort to get up out of my chair more often and write while in motion (and yes, I’m on my feet right now).
Sarah Fox was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia where she developed a love for mysteries at a young age. When not writing novels or working as a legal writer, she is often reading her way through a stack of books or spending time outdoors with her English Springer Spaniel. Her debut cozy mystery, Dead Ringer, was released in June 2015 by HarperCollins. The first in the Music Lover’s Mystery Series, Dead Ringer features Midori Bishop, a professional violinist with a penchant for sleuthing.