Need inspiration? Go for a walk..


debspoons via

Imagine the scene…you’re staring at your computer and you know what you want to say but will those words come?

No, of course they won’t.

You try harder, you type a few lines but still it doesn’t feel right.

You get frustrated. Yesterday the words flowed from your finger tips but today those fingers feel like lead.

Ever been there? I’m sure we all have.

One great tip that I was given for such a moment is to go for a walk. It doesn’t have to be far and it doesn’t have to be anywhere exciting, it just gives everything a break for a while and allows the endorphins to do their thing which, incidentally, they are great at doing.

On one such occasion I went for a walk down the main road which is a short distance from my house. A ladder was leaning up against the wall of one of the small two-up, two-down terraced dwellings along this road and the pavement on which the foot of the ladder was resting was narrow. This left anyone walking along the pavement with two choices: to walk around the ladder and onto the main road or to walk underneath the ladder and remain on the pavement. I watched for a moment and was unsurprised to see every single person step into the main road rather than walk underneath the ladder – clearly the most dangerous option. So, why did they all do that?


In the UK there is a superstition that says you will bring bad luck upon yourself if you walk underneath a ladder. There is also a superstition that says you should never stroke a black cat with green eyes, nor should you open an umbrella indoors. It is also considered bad luck to have a bird relieve itself upon your head and if you break a mirror – well, you’re in the mire for seven years. I think I was out walking for less than half an hour but by the time I returned home my brain fog had cleared and I had the bones of an idea for an article about superstitions, purely from a ladder leaning against a wall.

I know it feels like all our time is precious and that we should take advantage of every possible writing moment that we have, yet it really is amazing how taking just a few moments out to observe our surroundings can kick start the creative flow. Try it next time you’re stuck.

Oh, and I guess it’s not bad for our health, either.








Just five minutes more…

via feelart @

via feelart @

Do you ever lie in bed willing your alarm clock to start going backwards rather than relentlessly forwards? Or start mentally re-arranging your day and your commitments so that you can pinch just that extra five minutes in bed?

That has been very much a theme for me this week. It has been the first week of the school holidays where we have actually not really had to go anywhere and yet lying in has still not been an option. The carer for my youngest son (who is severely disabled) arrives at 7.30am every morning regardless, and so I have still had the same old arguments with my alarm clock. Today was the worst. Today I really, really did not want to get out of bed.

Thankfully, the alarm clock is not the only thing that I have that reminds me to get out of bed. I also have an elderly cat who, every morning, decides that she will undertake the task of washing me – until I really have to get up and do a proper job myself. I know she means well, but I am not sure that the general populous would consider her efforts sanitary enough.

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As always, I pulled myself out of bed and did what I needed to do before coming downstairs and putting on the kettle. Whilst waiting for it to boil, I opened the back doors as I always do and suddenly was hit with nothing. Total silence. I stepped outside and breathed in and listened again – nothing. The air was still. The early morning sun was just beginning to bathe the garden in half-light and the chilly nip was still in the air.

Instead of walking back into the house, I stood a moment and just looked at the sky; at the vapour trails that I could clearly see, at the trees behind me in which lurked squirrels, pigeons and all manner of other birds and I breathed deeply again. It was a truly beautiful and serene moment and I found myself thinking actually, this was pretty special. If I had stayed in bed like my body demanded, I would have missed this. I would have got up when the rest of the world was up, when the cars would be trundling along the road in the distance, when the dogs would be barking on their walks out the back and I would never have known that this serenity existed.

Serenity...early morning sun in the UK

Serenity…early morning sun in the UK

I always remember my grandparents being early risers and I used to think that they were crazy. Why get out of bed when you don’t have to? But now, having enjoyed the moment that I did today, I am wondering if it was me that was missing out after all.

With the extra time I have managed to write this blog post and will hopefully be able to spend some time visiting other blogs. In addition, I will probably be able to get some work done.

via Stuart Miles @

via Stuart Miles @

Maybe the early bird really does catch the worm?

Thoughts anyone? Are you early risers or do you stay in bed til the last minute?


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