Ahhh….nature. So calming. So good for us. The problem is, most writers spend much of their time inside, away from nature. I find much of my story inspiration during my hikes in the woods or my walks outside on a nice or cloudy day. When I’m too long cooped up inside and away from the swaying trees and the lyrical sounds of birdsong, my inspirational flow is stunted. Still, allergies, heat, or rainy weather can all affect your ability to write outside. As well, if you’re a staunch word-processor fan rather than a notebook writer, it can affect your workflow to try and write outside.
SO! How can you stay close to nature when writing indoors? Here are several ideas:
1. Open your windows.
This is one of my favorite ways to stay close to nature while working. Even though I have some horrific allergies, it is worth it to me to have the windows open on nice days. It can help clean out the air in your home by introducing new, fresh air. It allows you to feel breezes and to hear birdsong. When it’s raining, it provides an amazing soundtrack to your work. It helps to diminish the margins between “inside” and “outside”.
2. Use natural lighting in your office (i.e. open blinds, shades, etc.)
Not only will it help to save on electricity costs in your home, but it will help you to feel connected to the natural progression of the sun throughout the sky during the day. Keeping artificial lights off and blinds//drapes open, you can light your home naturally with daylight. I have never liked harsh artificial lighting. Even when it’s rainy and I need a bit of extra light in addition to natural light, I only use lamps. I love candlelight and ambiance. Keeping my blinds open during the day lets me see my work while still feeling at ease and calm.
3. Have bamboo, pothos, and other hearty plants around.
I’m a plant killer. I confess. Even when I try my best to keep plants alive, I unfortunately always turn them to wilted, sad specimens. But you know what? Plants like bamboo, pothos, and jade are excellent plants to keep around the office and home, because they are darn near impossible to kill. I almost feel like you’d have to try to kill bamboo. I barely water mine more than once a week and it thrives in my low-lighting home. I’m not advocating plant neglect or anything, but if you’d like to have some plants around to help you bring a bit of nature in and to help freshen your indoor air you can feel good about these sorts of plants.
4. Eat lots of veggies/fruits/nuts/and seeds throughout the day.
Writing takes LOTS of brain power and because of this, you should be eating all the right foods to keep your brain, body, and spirit healthy. If you’re constantly filling up your body with processed, junky food, your brain will be foggy and your typing fingers sluggish. Start your day with a healthy green smoothie or freshly juiced goodness. Have frequent snacks throughout the day to keep your energy up. Choose nuts, seeds, or veggies. Have a cup of plain yogurt with some natural granola. Eat food that is as close to its natural state as possible. This will help you feel like you’re a part of the natural world and will keep your body in its healthiest state.
5. Take a break between chapters and go for a walk.
There is nothing good about sitting down all day typing away. Your brain, your body, and your spirit will appreciate the break from writing if you take a ten to fifteen minute walk. Walks are great because, not only will they let you absorb a bit of vitamin D, but they’ll allow you to be outside where there’s plenty of inspiration to be soaked up and stored in your writer’s mind. While you walk you can either start planning your next scene in your novel or you can simply meditate on the surroundings and the natural sounds you hear. Enjoy yourself either way and then get back to work refreshed!
Our world is becoming increasingly divorced from nature. We stay inside almost all day. We exercise inside gyms. We get our food from supermarkets instead of gardens or straight from farms. We dedicate our free time to technology instead of enjoying the fresh air. I think it is of paramount importance that we stay connected to nature. Our writing will benefit, for sure, but more importantly, you will be healthier for inviting a bit of nature into your home. 🙂
Have a very happy Friday!