Elizabeth Ferretti, affiliate of The Writers Company, writes about how walking in nature can inspire creativity and inspiration.
Writing is a gift, a way for us to express ourselves, but when I work with writers, I see layers of belief sitting on top of that simple fact – beliefs that can hold us back in our writing.
Because of those layers, the bulk of my teaching is as much focussed on bringing awareness to a writer’s relationship with their writing as it is on passing on technical expertise. It’s a process I recognise well. For years, I’ve been peeling away my own layers that get between me and my writing (and that I’ve come to understand are a great reflection of my relationship with myself – more on that in another blog!)
So, how can we get to a place where the ideas are flowing? Where we feel good about the process of writing, if not yet the results?
One, perhaps unexpected, way can be to focus on our relationship with the planet. How can that help my writing? I hear you say.
For me, being outside in nature, whether in the open countryside, a park or even a suburban street with its busy front gardens, is about listening, observing, and noticing. That, in turn, is about allowing, and looking without judgment. I first understood the power of experiencing the world in this way through my yoga practice, but I think there are as many ways to it as there are people. However you get there, in the end, it’s about freedom.
My route to freedom is spending time in nature, walking mainly, where I give myself space to be creative, to not be afraid of my ideas. After all, our planet is the most creative thing I know! And while we can all get better at the techniques of writing, if we weigh ourselves down with all those layers of belief, how will we ever do our writing justice? When I have a plot hole to resolve, or a character to fill out, I go for a walk, and by the time I’m home, putting the kettle on for a warming cuppa, I sit at my laptop or take out a notebook and I write – and it feels good.
Liz Ferretti writes fiction, features, and educational books. Part way through an MSc in the Psychology and Neuroscience of Mental Health at King’s College, London, Liz is fascinated by the link between creativity, the natural environment, and mental wellbeing.