Saturday, August 11, 2012

And So I Walk - August Theme from Jody Feldman

The traditional logic may tell you to stay, face your problems. Not so, at least not for me when it comes to my writing. The longer I sit and face the problem area on the page, the more it turns into lines and squiggles and nonsense and a random collection of words that will never work the way I want them to.

So I walk away. I do it almost daily. My two-mile path takes me to the elementary school and back. I pass the same houses and trees, tread along the same sidewalks, watch out for the same cracks. I do not vary my route. I do not take social walks.

This is work. This is part of my process.

It was on one of these walks I realized I had the wrong main character for The Seventh Level. It was on one of these walks I learned why Gil wanted to win The Gollywhopper Games so badly. It was on one of these walks I discovered the twist for Gollywhopper 2.

It’s on these walks I come up for new workshop ideas, for ways to word speeches, for different variations on my school talks.

My favorite times to walk (weather aside) is that point in my writing day when I have come to an impasse, small or large. The routine of walking the same speed along the same path provides the white space I need to for accidently-on-purpose brainstorming.

I don’t force any issues. The problems are already entrenched in my mind. When I close the door behind me, my thoughts may meander from last night’s dream to tonight’s dinner to the color of peacock feathers. Somewhere along the memorized path, I come back to my characters and my plots and other necessary inspiration. And often – nearly always – I come back inside the house, back to my computer, ready to stay and face my problems.


  1. It's amazing what happens when you step away, isn't it? Thanks for putting it into words so well, Jody!

  2. It is amazing. And just when I think the magic might disappear, it works again.

    Good seeing you in LA, Tracy, even as brief as it was this year.