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Apr 06

G is for Go outside once in awhile

You see that big rectangular-shaped thing next to you? You probably covered it with blinds or curtains or black duct tape…well peel back those layers of shade and peer outside that transparent surface. Done? Right, you see that sparkly, people-filled, place just beyond the thin layer of protective glass? That’s called outside. I know,  it looks scary. There’s weather, new sights and smells, and worse of all…people *shudder*

Well tough luck, buddy because you’re going out there…outside! No, you don’t have a choice in the matter. Go…now! Well, if you could finish reading this post first then that would be just peachy, but after that – OUTSIDE!

I know what you’re thinking:

“What’s this nutty but insanely handsome man on about? I go outside every day.”

Do you? Do you?! You might venture outside your house and scurry to the bus stop or the safety of your car, you might even pop out for a lunch break and do a bit of window shopping, but do you really go outside. Not to get too metaphysical on your ass, but just stepping out of your front door does not mean you’ve gone outside. Not in the sense I’m talking about anyway (sense? He’s talking ‘sense’?).

As a writer you probably find it hard to switch off that big sexy writing brain of yours, I know I do. Well when you step outside, really step outside, and your eyes finally adjust to that giant burning fireball in the sky, you’ll find a wealth of inspiration just waiting to be soaked up by that juicy organ you keep in your shiny skull.

Other people’s conversations, the colour of a wet park bench as the raindrops glisten in the afternoon sun, the lazy path of a dead leaf caught in the breeze, the breathtaking architecture of a building you never noticed before…the images are endless.

You want character descriptions? Head to a local café or park and take your pick! You can listen to people’s accents and dialects, watch how they walk, how they carry themselves, how they argue, flirt, laugh. Watch them interact and ignore, watch them pick their nose when they think no ones watching, watch other writers watching you watching people…

Setting getting you down? Just take a wander ANYWHERE – somewhere you usually wouldn’t go. Don’t turn left when you leave your house and head for the same old bus stop, turn right and do a bit of exploring. Not sure if you’re allowed to go somewhere? Step inside anyway; you can use that feeling of nervousness in your novel. Plus the grumpy security guard that kicks you out for trespassing will make an excellent character in your next book.

Don’t be afraid to venture down a different path…you never know where it may take you!

Just make sure you go outside…now!

17 comments

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  1. jesstopper

    Love the “lazy bastard” tag, ha ha! Great advice – we all need a kick in the butt once in a while. I did my best people watching when I lived in Manhattan because it had everything – the average, the glorious and the ugly. I moved away years ago, but I still know what the subway smells like in the summer (piss and bologna). One walk is worth a 1000 words and memories.

    1. Steven Chapman

      Unfortunately it’s a tag I use far too much :S

    2. Steven Chapman

      And I’m definitely writing a book called ‘Piss and Bologna’ 😀

  2. Fiona Maddock

    You’re right, I really must get out more. Ha Ha!

    1. Steven Chapman

      I tell myself the same thing every day…from the safety of my house 🙂

  3. Baggy

    I love the outside! I’m one of those strange nutters that will walk in the evening, even when it’s dark. So long as you choose your route carefully, wear the right clothes and take a torch, you’re safe.

    Of course now the evenings are lighter we get a chance to visit a pub too! Don’t worry, we sit outside.

    1. Steven Chapman

      You like the evil world that resides behind the shiny pane? You’re one crazy individual, Baggy!

  4. Sam Perkins

    I am loving these posts so far! Keep them coming. Full of crazy, yet useful advice.

    1. Steven Chapman

      Thank you, Sam!

  5. Clare Dugmore Writes

    Getting out into the world, whether it’s to the park or the shopping mall, is an excellent way to clear your head and get the creative juices flowing again.

    You know, I might just take your advice, and take my boys to the park later. 😀

    1. Steven Chapman

      I do enjoy a good walk to clear my head, the dog appreciates it too. Hope you had fun at the park!

  6. Liz Brownlee

    Insanely handsome? Does that include manic, staring eyes, slavering lips and dribble? Hmmm…

    I find my hour dog walk in the morning really does hell my brain and ideas – somehow I get a lot while walking. Of course I’ve forgotten them all by the time I get home, but if I could remember to take my notebook I’d be a millionaire by now.

    It has been proven, actually, that exercise in the morning improves brain function for the day, but it has to be in the morning.

    Liz http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com

    1. Steven Chapman

      Yup, it also includes a straitjacket 😛

  7. Libby

    I’m a writer but I LOVE being outside. I run a lot and swim and am taking up hiking and kayaking this summer. Inside is okay, but outside is awesome.

  8. Tracy Brown

    Yes yes yes! My “G” post was on Gallivanting. I needed to be out and about yesterday after having my butt glued to the chair all week. Does wonders for writing muscles. 🙂

  9. sharkbytes

    If you go far enough, you can get away from the people. I’m trying to visit all the A-Z Challenge Blogs this month.

  10. mooderino

    I would go out, but we have a lot of feral rabbits down our way. Very pinty teeth.

    mood
    Moody Writing

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