There was some interesting research highlighted by the BBC last week about the benefits of ‘purposeless walking’. ‘Puproseless walking’ is pretty much what you might think it is – walking without a destination in mind. But far from being an aimless pursuit, a new study suggests that it might help to boost creativity.
I suppose it’s not hard to see why – switching onto auto-pilot and stressing about where you are going and whether you are going to get there on time allows other parts of your brain to take over. Seeing new things will stimulate your brain and spark new thoughts. It also gives us space to think without the temptations posed by electronic equipment.
The BBC’s article (which you can find here) says that walking is increasingly becoming a luxury. I suppose that there is a broader point to be made about the times we live in, but walking is something that I do a lot less of for very personal reasons. Having a two year old daughter means I am no longer able to walk around, or indeed from A to B as much as I used to. I still try to walk during my lunchtime (as opposed to writing blogposts!) but if I have the opportunity will walk as far as possible to get somewhere. Perhaps not quite ‘purposeless walking’, but I still find it helps clear my mind and give me some time and space to think about my writing.
So, perhaps next time I’m struck with writers’ block, maybe a walk is the best thing to get me back on track.