May is motherhood memoir month

Running Backwards

Walking or running, we are in forward motion, at least most of the time. To turn around and walk or run backwards is disorienting, but I do it anyway, partly for that reason.

To break up and balance the sedentary activity of writing I often go for a walk or run. It could be procrastination, however healthy. Sometimes I feel I’m escaping the challenge of creating a novel from nothing but my thoughts and research. It feels risky, fraught with vulnerability. There’s much less at stake in taking a walk.

When I turn around, challenging myself, usually on hills, to walk and then run backwards, I’m thrown out of my comfort zone. I can’t see what is behind me so I try to pick paths I know pretty well, ones that aren’t too heavily traveled or bumpy. This gives my proprioceptors a work out, along with the backside of my legs. Running up hills backwards always makes me smile. And when I get back to writing, it somehow feels easier.

Have you tried it? What kinds of things do you do to break up your writing life?

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