Creating Fiction While Walking the Dog – Thursday’s Children

Thursday’s Children – A weekly blog hop where writers come together to talk about whatever inspires them.

If you’ve got a dog then you’ll probably already understand the appeal of having some time to yourself each day to go for a walk and think about things. As a writer I find this time invaluable. You see the thing about having a dog is it’s the perfect opportunity to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger. As the dogs sniff about greeting each other, the owners exchange pleasantries about the weather and their dogs but sometimes it’s amazing just how chatty and revealing people can be. This is a gift for me as a writer to get brief snippets of strangers’ lives and stumble across all kinds of interesting characters. On my daily walks I take mental notes of the different people I meet and file them away for possible future use as a walk-on character in a story. There’s the friendly but incomprehensible man who walks his dog at the same time each day in the local park; the young night shift guy who takes his excitable Pug for a walk before he’s able to get some sleep; and the frazzled mum contending with a baby and a puppy.

I started a new WIP last week and I found that I got most of my ideas for it while out walking. There’s something about being away from my laptop (and the distractions of Twitter and the Internet) that helps fuel my imagination. A brisk walk in the fresh air helps the creative juices to flow. Going for a walk each day this week gave me the chance to work out plot ideas and think about characters – in-between trying to stop Frodo from rolling in mud (or worse), eating everything in sight and chasing birds. The same way as sleeping on an issue – whether that issue is with writer’s block or difficulty with a plot – can help, going for a walk can clear your head and help sort out those tricky chapters or awkward characters.

Even if you don’t have a dog why not make the time once or twice a week to get outdoors, go for a walk to see what characters you meet along the way and where your imagination takes you…

For a weekly dose of inspiration click on this linky and joining in with the Thursday’s Children blog hop. Big thanks to Rhiann Wynn-Nolet and Kristina Perez for hosting.

What helps get your creative juices flowing?

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21 Comments

  1. I swear by walking as an important element of the writing process. And I have two doggies to “help” me out. Yours looks very sweet. Mine share the love of rolling in stink 😉

    • Time just to think is definitely one of the most important parts of the writing process. And yes, what is it about dogs finding the yuckiest things to roll about in!

  2. I don’t have a dog but I like taking walks around my neighborhood in Hong Kong. I always find something new that makes me smile. Thanks for joining us!

  3. Walking is great – and I’ve met more than my fair share of interesting characters while out and about. Frodo is SO cute!

  4. I. love. the name Frodo for a dog! Soo cute. It makes me want to buy a pup of our own!

    I totally agree with you. I have an 8-month old daughter who I still walk the halls with at night. SO MUCH inspiration comes then. I will almost be sad when she sleeps through the night! (Almost).

    Will have to try walking out doors in the daytime now..

  5. I thought this was a lovely blog entry Kate. I too am able to think about things when I’m taking my dog Dug for a walk. You give yourself and your mind a breather I think when you’re out walking in the fresh air. Lovely to see you today BTW! :)

  6. I don’t have a dog either, but yes, walking/fresh air is a must for me! Even if it’s just cranking open ALL the windows (regardless of temperature). Great post – adorable doggy :)

  7. Your doggy is adorable!

    I totally agree with this! I often try to walk for an hour a day just for exercise, and sometimes I ride my bike to and from work, which is about 45 minutes each way. It’s awesome thinking time!

  8. Hehe. Your dog made me chuckle!

    I ALWAYS use walks and coffee shops to clear my mind. Heck, getting away from the computer seems to always do the trick! But yeah. Going on a mini-adventure, even for just an hour, can do wonders.

    Just make sure to dash to your notebook as soon as you get home to jot down everything that came to you!

  9. I’m glad the pics of Frodo made you chuckle. :-)

    I agree that coffee shops can be just as inspiring as going for a walk – in fact, it’s like you said, getting away from the computer is the key really!

  10. I love your doggy!! I don’t have one, so maybe I need to get one of those invisible dog collars. Wonder what my neighbors would think of that? I agree that getting out fills the well of inspiration. I love people watching, so sitting at the mall, or a coffee shop, is great for ideas. Great post!!

  11. Awww, Frodo is absolutely adorable! What a helpful little muse! :)

  12. Pingback: Kate Frost – Inspired by Peace and Quiet – Thursday’s Children

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