Walking and Creativity, by Michele Weber Hurwitz

This month, one of our topics is creativity and fear -- more specifically, how we push ourselves out of our comfort zones. I admit that for the last few months, I've seen my creativity lessen and my fear heighten. My work-in-progress is at a standstill, just like the world right now. On pause, right? But, like so many of us, I've been taking a lot of walks, and this has seemed to help.

Not only has it been refreshing to be outside, but I've always found that time away from my computer actually generates some of my best writing. It's then that the characters and plot and setting and dialogue that have been knotted up in my head seem to straighten out and make some sense.

I'm not alone in being a walking-writer, and I'm in excellent company.

"Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow," wrote Henry Thoreau. Writers who have extolled the benefits of walking include Charles Dickens, Walt Whitman, William Wordsworth, Henry James, Thomas Mann, and Joyce Carol Oates.

So what is it about getting outside and moving your feet that helps get those creative juices flowing? 

Research has found that walking allows the brain to work in a different way. Walking has been shown to improve the ability to shift between modes of thought, increase attention and memory, and allow us to recover from mental fatigue, all of which are important when creating. 

And walking has another benefit -- it elevates our mood -- much needed right now!

The beauty of walking is that all you need are a decent pair of shoes. You don't need to take lessons or join a club or pay a monthly fee. And you can do it whenever! Hard to find an excuse, right? So get out the door and get going!

Michele Weber Hurwitz is excited for her fifth middle grade novel, Hello from Renn Lake, releasing on May 26 from Penguin Random House/Wendy Lamb Books. Read about it here: micheleweberhurwitz.com


  1. Some of my best idea bits have come when I am on a walk. Thanks for sharing this Michele.

  2. Yes! Dog walking is so good for my writer's brain.


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