As many of you instinctively know, taking a brisk walk can be helpful. If you are stuck on an issue or are dulled by stagnation, getting up and out on foot can break you free of your conundrum.
I am amazed at how often a productive person's daily routine involves walking and I wanted to share some of these here. In reading Daily Rituals by Mason Currey, a clever collection of artist's daily routines, the word WALK appears on almost every page. This goes to show that walking is an integral part of the creative process and a city that regards itself as 'Music City' should consider walkability a very valuable & sought after muse.
Oliver Sacks, author of Awakenings, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Musicophilia and Hallucinations reports that he gets up at 5am, swims or 'otherwise will be deflected by busyness or laziness', has breakfast and then gets to work. At lunch, he takes a brief break, WALKS around the block, practices piano, then sits down to his meal.
When Donald Barthelme, a writer from Houston, became stuck, he would 'head out for a twenty- or thirty-minute WALK in the neighborhood.'
Willem de Kooning would 'spend most of the night PACING the dark streets of Manhattan.'
Carson Mccullers would typically work until the middle of the afternoon, then went for a LONG WALK.
Jackson Pollock would stay in his studio until 5 or 6pm, then emerge for a beer and a WALK to the beach.
James T. Farrell would WALK his wife to the bus stop every morning. As the bus pulled away, he would hit the back and blow kisses to her to the amusement of the other riders.
Willa Cather believed in keeping herself 'fit, fresh: one has to be in as good form to write as to sing.' She accomplished this by taking WALKS in Central Park.
Do you use walking in your daily routine? If not, these highly productive people would argue that you should. They also would make a very convincing argument that a creative city should also be a wonderfully walkable city.
Nashville, this means you!
From: Daily Rituals by Mason Currey