How the Great Outdoors Can Help You Write
Sometimes you sit down to write and the only thing you can see is a blank page staring back at you. This is known as creative block or writer’s block, and it may mean you need a breath of fresh air. Literally, getting outside in the fresh air will help clear your brain and boost your mental activity. Scientists have found that spending time in nature can make us healthier, happier and more creative. The next time you’re having trouble getting the words to flow, take it outside. These tips on how to get more outdoor time may help encourage some amazing creative writing ideas while you’re soaking up nature.
Take a hike, or a bike, or a swim:
Research shows that moving your body helps to bring oxygen to your brain and that nourishes your creative thinking skills. The next time you’re faced with a writing project, spend some active time outside. Stop by a park and climb the jungle gym, take a short walk in the sunshine, bike ride around the block. Stepping away from your project and into nature can help awaken your creativity, and a boost of healthy activity is a bonus. You can even set fitness goals and track your fitness.
Use some sense:
To stir your creative juices, engage your senses outdoors. Feel the breeze on your face, sit and listen to the rain on the roof, look up at the sky and let your imagination float with the clouds. Strengthening your senses will help you write in more detail about the things you hear, the things you see, even what you smell. If you need some encouragement, check out our 7 outdoor writing activities that will have your kids outside and discovering nature.
Plan outside time with a friend:
When your creativity is feeling drained, look for some healthy social interaction with a friend, a family member or a neighbour. Spending time outdoors with someone who makes you feel good will no doubt help you feel happier and boost your brainpower. You can even try bouncing a few of your writing ideas off of them. Or, for some crazy fun, you can try taking some photos with you and try these 8 fun storytelling games using image prompts.
Plan an outdoor adventure:
The best part about the great outdoors is that there is so much to explore. There are probably parts of your neighbourhood or your community that you have never taken the time to visit. Take advantage of neighbourhood nature centres, zoos and bird sanctuaries. Take some binoculars with you, a notebook and a pencil for bird watching and spying on wild animals – things that could make great subjects for your next writing project.
Play some backyard tunes:
The simple act of turning on music may be enough to jump-start your writing skills. So, head outside for an outdoor dance party and crank up whatever gets you going – classical, jazz, hip hop. Mix it up and let your mind groove to some different beats while your body soaks in nature. Don’t be afraid to get up and dance in your backyard. Music can invigorate your creativity and dancing can get your blood flowing.
Separate yourself from your screen:
When the creative juices start slowing down, take a healthy break from the internet and your computer screen and go outdoors. Put some distance between yourself and the wi-fi. Shut down your computer, turn off your tablet, pick up a pen and paper and head to a sunny spot on the lawn or a park bench. You will feel an amazing sense of calmness and clarity when you unplug and take your writing tools to a natural setting.
Pack a power picnic:
There are times when we forget that our brain and our body need to work together for us to be productive. Both your brain and your body need nutrients to achieve your best writing performance. Before you sit down to write, pack up a healthy picnic lunch or even just some healthy snacks and find a shady spot outside to power up your brain. For a list of brain foods that will nourish your body and keep your mind active visit Brain Food for Writers: 6 Healthy Snack Suggestions.
Go out and play:
If your writing is blocked, gather some friends, grab a ball or an outdoor game and play like you mean it. Play anything that gets you moving and laughing and thinking out of the box. Playing can stimulate your brain and exercise encourages creative thinking. Take a look at these fun garden games to excite your children. Another fun game kids love is capture the flag, where one team tries the grab the flags from the other team. A game you might like to purchase is, Capture the flag REDUX which adds a modern touch to this classic game. Keeping your brain engaged is a brilliant way to inspire you and improve creativity.
When all else fails, take a nap:
It just may be that you brain is exhausted and needs a break. Sleep is a healthy, natural way to recharge it and taking nap in nature is as good as it gets. Hang a hammock or spread a blanket on the lawn, close your eyes, listen to the birds chirp and the bees buzz and drift off to write in your dreams.