WHAT IS OBSERVATIONAL WALKING?
Activities like observational walking are a great way to free your mind so you can get on with your creative writing without distracting thoughts.
Observational walking is similar to meditative walking and is not complicated. You simply walking at a pace where you can be aware of sounds and can carefully observe your surroundings.
A SLOWER PACE
This might be considerably slower than your usual walking pace so if you do a daily exercise walk you can do some observational walking as a warm up or slow down stage. The key is being aware; listening and observing.
Observing your surroundings clears a space in your mind for creative writing ideas – it also means you remember a great deal more. The most trivial observation can grow into something much, much bigger and you will find your mind is now generating so many new creative writing ideas that you won’t know which one to choose.
This morning, for example, I noticed a woman stepping on a crack in the pavement. If I wanted to develop this further it might go as follows:
Mary walked quickly. She mustn’t have been superstitious or else she didn’t notice a crack in the pavement. She didn’t slow down, and she didn’t step around it.
Jack noticed it. Jack also noticed the small metal square embedded in the dirt. He snatched it up and dropped it into his briefcase before Mary had even walked the short distance to the edge of the footpath.
Fun creative writing activities such as observational walking allow my mind to notice a simple crack in the pavements and allowing the idea to form. Always ask yourself what if?
Another day while I was out walking my dog paused to stare at a trampled trail leading to a hole in a field. I knew it was a fox hole having seen plenty of foxes in the area on previous occasions. But…what if it wasn’t a fox hole…
The hole had been made by someone desperately trying to escape from something.
If it was a portal to another realm.
A shortcut to a children’s hiding place
Once you slow down and pay attention to your surroundings you will start to see a lot more than grass or footpaths. There is a whole world out there ready to hand you ideas on a plate all you need to do is stop for a moment and take a look.
More writing activities:
‘Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.’
Best of luck with trying out these writing activities – let me know how you get on.