For many of us, writing may well be a daily practice – and journaling has certainly helped me process and reflect on experiences, thoughts and feelings over the years. It is often our personal lives which find their way into our more public writing too, but whatever we write we can often feel constricted or stuck on our writing journey.
I find an incredibly powerful way to refresh and liberate myself and my writing is to head outside. A walk can take me away from troubles that feel more ‘weighty and suffocating’ when I’m indoors. And sometimes a simple breath of fresh air is all I need. But when we really allow ourselves to go deeper – Mother Nature can play a massive part in opening our hearts, minds and bodies to a slower, more meaning-filled way of being.
Writing Inside Out is founded on three main aspects; writing from the heart, self-growth and connecting with nature. When we combine all three we open ourselves to more readily discovering our own stories through the healing nature of words. It isn’t always easy – but it can be very powerful.
Even in towns and cities mini pockets of Mother Earth’s magic can be found; in parks, along riverside paths, plants on a window ledge or blossoming trees in the street. There really is something magical when we, as humans, connect more deeply with the rest of the ‘natural’ world.
I live in Cumbria, close to the Lake District National Park. With its ‘wild’ weather and seemingly remote spaces, this area has long held an attraction for writers. Beatrix Potter, William Wordsworth & the Romantic Poets all shared a love of the fells, as did Alfred Wainwright with his legendary walking guides. In more contemporary times Cumbrian authors such as Kerry Irving Max the Miracle Dog by Kerry Irving | Waterstones, and Julie Carter www.mindfell.co.uk have life-stories which intrinsically link personal-exploration and mental health awareness, to the power of nature and being outside
So, as writers, the natural world is an incredible resource. It not only helps us hone our observational skills, but also inspires us to discover our own stories in the first place.
Whether you are writing (or want to write) memoir, self-growth or novels; whether you create books, blogs, articles or social media posts – or even if you are gifting yourself the time to write ‘just’ for you – taking the time to ‘be’ outside can be incredibly rewarding. It’s priceless, free and freeing. And I think is one of the most incredible things we can do to support our writing.
Whilst there are a myriad ways we can engage with the outdoors – my free download highlights Five Ways Being Outside is great for your Writing.
At whatever stage – from starting out to accomplished published author – Mother Nature has something to offer us all. Children and animals know this instinctively. The awe, wonder and curiosity of our little ones, coupled with our furry companions who lie on the grass or dig in the earth – have a lot to teach us.
It doesn’t have to be miles from home. In fact, I am in ‘Sharon’ (my shed) as I type; perched at my woodwork bench with the door open wide. Millie-Dog is snoozing outside whilst bird-song fills the air. There also happens to be traffic and other noises clattering about, so whilst it isn’t totally idyllic, it is a change of scene and helps bring inspiration and shift to my day.
Much of my writing starts off outside one way or another. I often find it easier to focus – as I can choose to take quality time away from distracting WIFI; away from the weight of household chores or DIY jobs – Perhaps it’s children, spouses or phone calls that fill your attention.
Being outside in blustery or wet weather (especially in the UK) is a little harder both in a practical and motivational sense – but keeping a notebook handy is a simple way to encourage our writerly selves; jotting down an idea on a dog walk or after a quick dash through the rain to the car. It really does all count, and ideas can spring from some surprising places.
Journeying has been a massive part of my life physically and emotionally. So, why not step outside today and see where your journey takes you?
For more insight into specific ways being outside can help your writing – download my handy guide here
And for motivation, inspiration and connection check out the Writing Inside Out Website or join the free Writing Inside Out Events Facebook group.