Sunday, 12 March 2017

Writing + nature

(Written a few days ago and posted late)

Recently my family bought a couple of second-hand kayaks. The kids were eager to test them out, so on this lovely Saturday afternoon, we headed to the nearest dam.

I'm writing this while flopped on the bank, arms aching. And legs. And back.

(+ I somehow have a blister on my heel. From kayaking. ?)

But! The sun's behind a hill, and there's a lovely wisp of breeze. I'm watching the ripples over the surface of the dam, and listening to rainbow lorikeets and crows. 

(+ I have an ant bite on my leg and the sting is quite distracting.)

Have I been inspired by nature? Do I feel more creative - do the words flow easier? 

Well - no. Not really. 

(I have an ANT in my SHIRT and it won't gET OUT.)

I've read writing advice that basically says to get out "among nature". And maybe being under the sky, or among trees, in the wind - maybe that really inspires you. But if it doesn't; if the dirt and swarming ants and bird poo on the rock you picked to sit on all really bother you - or even if you find nature relaxing and enjoyable, but just not helpful for your writing (even plain distracting) -

I have decided it's okay.

I'm not saying cut out the walks. In fact probably put more walks in your busy schedule - I certainly need to. (Once I've recovered from kayaking.) Writing can be a... sedentary lifestyle.

But if nature isn't what recharges your creativity, just go with what is. Maybe you work best in a public place where you can watch people. Or at your desk at home which is set up just how you like it. Mixing things up can help kickstart our words when we're stuck, but never feel obligated to write a way that doesn't suit you.

(The ant's gone deeper in my shirt and I can't get it out I think it's calling for its friends to come help I like nature but not ants so close and personal help.)


  1. This was a fun post, Jem. I love all your little interjections about the reality of your situation. "(I have an ANT in my SHIRT and it won't gET OUT.)" Heehee. Couldn't help smiling at that one. :)

    I don't know if nature helps me to write or not, I've never given it much of a chance, but I know it certainly wouldn't be helping me if I had ants crawling up my legs! Oooh!!! Let's go back inside, right? :)

    1. Aw, thanks!

      Personally I consider nature very distracting... ants being /particularly/ distracting. And once they've found me, they seem to lock on and I can't get away without leaving completely...

      *provides excuses for staying indoors all day*


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