“In wilderness is the preservation of the world.” Henry David Thoreau
When the weather’s balmy, I really enjoy sitting on my porch and writing. If it’s quiet (a challenge in suburban New Jersey!), I find that being among green, rustling leaves and
chirping birds lifts me up and slows me down. And since “a relaxed mind is a creative mind” (my favorite Yogi teabag quote), I find that new ideas often come to me that enrich and embolden my writing.
While some of us find that creating in our own writing space works best, taking a break to work outside in a park, on a porch or by the water — whether at home or while on vacation can be a fun and enlivening way to keep your creativity juices flowing. In a recent post on “En Plein Air” — the French phrase for “the act of painting outdoors” — Writer’s Relief* captured some of the benefits of writing outside:
Focus improves: We all fight against distractions when we write — especially social media. But those nagging piles of laundry or To-Do lists can also chip away at our creativity and writing resolve. When we’re outside, these should-do’s and distracting digital distractions aren’t part of our literary landscape. This can not only help with focusing, it can also reduce fatigue and allow us to write with greater energy and staying power.
Senses are more acute: When we’re outside and surrounded by nature, our sensitivity to sounds and sights often intensifies. Freed from our inside work spaces, where everything is familiar, we can listen more closely to the songs of birds or watch a squirrel jump from tree to tree or feel the soothing touch of a breeze against our skin. This heightens our awareness and provides sensory experience that can enrich and enliven our stories.
Creativity is enhanced: Break free of routine and resituate yourself geographically, and you may find that you become unmoored, freer, less constrained. Under the vastness of the sky and surrounded by trees that have survived and thrived with timeless ease, you can find yourself thinking more expansively and entering brave new worlds that might not open themselves to you in your everyday environment.
One of the pleasures of scrivening is that it’s a portable pursuit. So, why not pack up your writing gear and head outside, where the livin’ — and the thinkin’ — are easy. Write on!
* Writers Relief is a well-established author advisory and submission service. If you need help with publication, check it out: http://writersrelief.com/