The Importance of Getting Out and About

by | March 23, 2013 | General | 5 comments

By Lucy Felthouse

As someone that works from home, and spends much of my time in front of a computer, I thought I’d write an article on the importance of getting out and about. It’s easy, particularly when you have lots to do, to just keep pounding away at that keyboard, barely looking up until it’s time for lunch or dinner. I know, I’ve done it myself many times, though admittedly I do also spend quite a lot of time looking out of the window, especially when I’m thinking, or if there’s anything going on, which is rare.

But it’s also important to get out and about. Don’t worry, this isn’t a lecture on health or anything, it’s more of a piece about how staring at the same four walls isn’t overly good for the imagination. I take my dog for a walk every day (granted, the walks are shorter when the weather is horrible), and I don’t work weekends. During those times, I do my best to go and see something a little different, have some fun. Because it’s those experiences that fire the imagination, even when you’re not expecting it. Even if you don’t get any inspiration while you’re walking or visiting a place, you may clear your brain of the dull stuff and give yourself time to think about your next story. As putting one foot in front of the other doesn’t take an awful lot of brain power, you can think about your characters, your storyline, your setting. Or, if you’re busy chatting to someone or doing something exciting, you can rest assured that whatever you’re doing may later spark a story idea.

I can attest to all of the above. Staring at the screen, or the four walls doesn’t really help when I’m seriously stuck with someone. However, walking the dog gives me time to think up new ideas, or to work out how I’m going to start a story that’s been floating around in my head for a while. This time is invaluable.

When it comes to visiting interesting places, be it cities, stately homes, ruins or stone circles, I just live for the moment, take lots of photos, and if something comes to me later about that place that I can write about, then that’s just a bonus. I’ve written about tons of places after the fact, including London, Paris, The Peak District, various stately homes, and so on. It’s great fun, but it does give me awful wanderlust!

I know that everyone is different and works in different ways, but if you do find yourself stuck, then I can highly recommend getting out somewhere. Go and walk in the countryside, explore a town or city with no particular aim in mind or visit a tourist attraction. You’ll be surprised at what it can spark in your creativity. Even if it doesn’t, though, at least you had fun. And fun is a valuable commodity in itself.

Happy Writing!
Lucy x

Lucy Felthouse


  1. Mitnik

    I totes agree. You can never underestimate the value of fun, and just doing something else.. Whatever it might be, now if I was shameless I'd promote Smut by the Sea as a great way to get out and do something fun, but I'm not like that 😉

  2. Lisabet Sarai

    Hi, Lucy,

    I haven't been out all day. Futzing around trying to fix my website… sigh.

    Frustration does not engender inspiration.

    And Kevin, I'd give anything to be there in Scarborough next June!

  3. Kathleen Bradean

    Lucy – You're so right. Doing something other than writing lets your imagination rest and refuel. It's amazing to me how I can concentrate on a problem and never find a solution, but as soon as I turn my attention elsewhere, the answer seems to pop into my head.

  4. K. A. Burton

    It helps to get out and see how the world changes. I pick up dialogue and other things from places. I am pretty sure people think I am nuts when I whip out my little note book and jot things down, but I gave up worrrying about it long ago. Mostly because I admitted my memory was not what it used to be… LOL

  5. Garceus

    Hi Lucy!

    i don;t know if you've ever been to a perfume shop, but one of the odd things I found there was a cup full of roasted espresso beans. I was shopping for some perfume for my wife's birthday and after trying about three of them my nose went dead. I couldn't smell anything. So the owner, a pakastani man, handed me the coffee beans to smell. That` cleared my nose. Amazing! I think when we write our mind gets a little numb after a while, and going out into the daylight is like snorting those coffee beans. It clears the mental palate.


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