Friday, 26 February 2010

Swimming and Writing

I love to swim. I really do. When I was small I swam every single day. Most of my early childhood memories involve swimming with the hot sun on my back.

I didn’t swim for a long time. For more than ten years I pretended that I didn’t swim, that I couldn’t swim. I somehow forgot how much I loved it. Then one day, I needed to swim again. It was all I wanted to do. I couldn’t think about anything else. I was too scared to swim in a crowded pool so joined a fancy health club. It was the kind of place where they give you a pile of fluffy white towels when you walk through the door. I really couldn’t afford it. I didn’t even have a job but I had a beautiful swimming pool. I swam and swam and swam and kept on swimming.

Now, as I swim, I make up stories in my head. I try out new ideas. I close my eyes and all the sticky bits in my writing come unstuck. It’s a kind of magic that happens under that electric blue water.

It is important to find those places that help you write or the routines that get your mind whirring. You don’t even need to do any writing. It might be that you always get your best ideas by going for a run or on a particular walk or by sitting in a certain cafe. You might already know your secret thinking-about-writing place but if you haven’t then you should go and hunt it down. Try different approaches, go to new places and see what happens. You might stumble across your best writing yet.


  1. My "place" is the car...unfortunately I rarely remember my brilliance once I'm home and able to transpose onto "paper"...You're right though - there is that one spot in which my mind just unclogs. I love your writing and I am joining you on your Learn Something...great idea!

  2. I always get good ideas in the car too. Usually in traffic jams. I always think about carrying a dictaphone to catch those car-thoughts but am not quite that organised. I always hope the ideas will come back but you're right, they tend to vanish.
    That's great that you're joining me on Learn Something!

  3. you can come up with the best ideas while in motion.

  4. Exactly. I agree. Though I'm not sure why it is that you need to be moving.