Writing has made me walk and walking has made me write. When I quit the teaching profession at the age of 29 to become a writer, it never occurred to me that I would also become a walker. Every day, while working on my first novel, I went outside to go for a walk. Taking a walk came as natural to me as eating and sleeping.
Nothing beats a walk. It’s a great exercise, whether you walk slowly or briskly. As an extra bonus, walking leaves a writer free to take in the flowers, the sky, the clouds, the air and colors. Best of all, though, you can think and ponder and come up with ideas while walking.
[I’m stopping right here. Writing about walking has made me want to go for a walk.I know I haven’t finished this piece yet, but it’s getting late and I have to get outside before it turns dark and before my wife Joan comes home. Please excuse me.]
I’m back. Joan and I have eaten dinner and just a minute ago I finished cleaning up in the kitchen. I had to break away earlier because the day was so beautiful that I had to get outside before it slipped away.
“Love and Marriage,” a song by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen that Frank Sinatra made famous, kept going through my mind on my walk. “Love and marriage,” sang Sinatra, “go together like a horse and carriage.” On my walk, I wanted to come up with as good a simile for “writing and walking” as Cahn and Van Heusen did for “love and marriage.” I was confident I could do it.
As I was walking along my favorite route–the Great Highway next to the Pacific Ocean–I stopped several times to write down the following similes that popped into my head:
Writing and walking go together like wheeling and dealing:like throwing and catching:like buying and selling:like growing and knowing.
Here’s the one I like best: Writing and walking go together like sleeping and dreaming.