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Old 01-29-2013, 06:40 AM   #1
kennyc
The Dank Side of the Moon
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Just got an email to this brief writing suggestion

which I agree with:

http://www.pw.org/content/elliott_holt

Quote:
Elliott Holt Recommends...

Writers Recommend

Posted 1.16.13

"I'm a city girl. I was born and raised in Washington, D.C., and I've spent my entire adult life living in cities (Moscow, London, Amsterdam, New York, and now Washington again). I love big cities for the energy, the people-watching, the access to art and culture, the ability to feel anonymous. But I also need a daily 'forest bath,' as the Japanese call it. I take a long walk in the woods almost every day to clear my head. (In Moscow, I walked in wooded parks; in London, I went to Hampstead Heath; in Amsterdam, I walked in the Amsterdamse Bos; in Brooklyn, I was in Prospect Park every day; now my daily walk is in Rock Creek Park.) I've been doing this for years. There is something about being on the trails, in the silence, under all those trees that does wonders for my brain. (A couple of years ago, The New York Times noted the health benefits of 'forest bathing': apparently time spent among trees and plants reduces stress and boosts immune function.) I take my dog with me and sometimes I sort out character and plot problems on my walks. But more often than not, the walk is just a way to let go—of anxiety, of ego—and recharge my creative batteries. I always work better after I've been in the woods."

—Elliott Holt, author of You Are One of Them (The Penguin Press, 2013)
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:10 AM   #2
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I live in the bush, does that mean I should go for daily walks in the city?
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:15 AM   #3
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Yep, change of taste.
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:01 PM   #4
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I would do this everyday... and used to when I lived in a more rural area...
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:17 PM   #5
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When I was growing up I would go for long walks in the woods every day. I got Lyme disease before anyone knew what it was. I can still remember the doctor saying, "Well, it's arthritis, so there's no sense giving you antibiotics." My knees are pretty well shot.

The woods are overrated!



All snarking aside, I still enjoy long walks. Even when I can't get to more "natural" settings, just walking through nearby suburban neighborhoods recharges my batteries.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:13 PM   #6
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Cromag, you do have a point. The benefits of woods-walking can be overrated, thankfully we don't have ticks were we live, but closer to coast they can be a real nuisance.

Besides, everyone seems to be forgetting their lessons from childhood: look what happened to poor little red riding hood! And it wasn't much fun for Snow White either.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:23 AM   #7
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When I travel, I walk a lot. Last time I was out of Australia I went to the island of Mull, (Scotland for those unfamiliar) and went on two or three very long cross-country off-road hikes with a small group. Not a lot of forest on Mull, but travelling slowly on foot means to do get to see, smell (and inadvertently put your foot in) all sort of interesting things.

Later I was in Rome, and then later again on the Amalfi coast. Practically went everywhere on foot. Ditto Manhattan years ago (among other things I walked Broadway from Battery point to the Lincoln Centre.) .

One of my favourite memories from urban walking was in the London suburb of Hornsey, where I was searching for the Lotus racing car company's first factory, and I walked past the open door of an Indian spice shop. Wow! The fantastic smells that blasted out of that door, absolutely without warning, were unforgettable. Every exotic spice you could imagine, at full strength! Marvellous.

Funny thing is, at home I seldom walk far. Age has something to do with it. Also of course I know my own neighbourhood extremely well, and am never likely to get that spice-shop surprise here.

But as soon as I'm away from my own stamping ground, walking is my travel mode of choice.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pulpmeister View Post
When I travel, I walk a lot. Last time I was out of Australia I went to the island of Mull, (Scotland for those unfamiliar) and went on two or three very long cross-country off-road hikes with a small group. Not a lot of forest on Mull, but travelling slowly on foot means to do get to see, smell (and inadvertently put your foot in) all sort of interesting things.

Later I was in Rome, and then later again on the Amalfi coast. Practically went everywhere on foot. Ditto Manhattan years ago (among other things I walked Broadway from Battery point to the Lincoln Centre.) .

One of my favourite memories from urban walking was in the London suburb of Hornsey, where I was searching for the Lotus racing car company's first factory, and I walked past the open door of an Indian spice shop. Wow! The fantastic smells that blasted out of that door, absolutely without warning, were unforgettable. Every exotic spice you could imagine, at full strength! Marvellous.

Funny thing is, at home I seldom walk far. Age has something to do with it. Also of course I know my own neighbourhood extremely well, and am never likely to get that spice-shop surprise here.

But as soon as I'm away from my own stamping ground, walking is my travel mode of choice.
Excellent!
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:11 PM   #9
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Cromag, you do have a point. The benefits of woods-walking can be overrated, thankfully we don't have ticks were we live, but closer to coast they can be a real nuisance.

Besides, everyone seems to be forgetting their lessons from childhood: look what happened to poor little red riding hood! And it wasn't much fun for Snow White either.
Well, Little Red Riding Hood and Snow White got some pretty good story ideas, didn't they?

I think a change of pace can help shake things up. That might be getting out of the city to the woods, it might be getting out of the woods into the city.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:21 PM   #10
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I think I do my best thinking when I'm riding on a lawnmower. Strange? Sure, but think about it. You're on the lawnmower, puttering around the yard, for about an hour. Not much to think around, really, except turning the wheel and maybe backing up sometimes. It's a perfect opportunity to get outside and let your mind wander for a bit.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:44 PM   #11
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Yea, I wrote a lot of my first book on the tread mill for the same reason.
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:13 AM   #12
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I think I do my best thinking when I'm riding on a lawnmower. Strange? Sure, but think about it. You're on the lawnmower, puttering around the yard, for about an hour. Not much to think around, really, except turning the wheel and maybe backing up sometimes. It's a perfect opportunity to get outside and let your mind wander for a bit.
Remind me not to visit when you're mowing the lawn - it sounds dangerous. Concentrate I say, concentrate!
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:15 AM   #13
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:19 AM   #14
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It's not that hard! Honest!
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:54 AM   #15
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