Newsflash: creative people walk … and walk often

From this column called, “The Speed of Inspiration” by Wayne Curtis in the Smart Set at Drexel University.

To be creative, to restore flow, we need at a minimum more downtime, a shelter away from ceaselessly incoming rounds of dirt and dope and scoop and poop. And this is not just a Cape Cod for the mind, a time to relax before wading back into the sifting and processing. Daydreaming, it turns out, is part and parcel of how the mind works, of how it locates and makes sense of the data we’ve already accreted and the links between them.


Walking with a touch of agreeable languor is an underappreciated gift — it endows us with the time to disentangle that logjam in our head and let the flow start to move again, then to build unexpected bridges between notions and ideas. A walk among trees and meadows is always welcome — merely being amid nature is a proven salve for mind and body. But even walking in a densely urban environment where you’re still under siege from Lilliputian mercenaries in the information army — armed with messages in store windows, ads plastered on passing buses, dudes dressed like fruits trying to entice you into a smoothie shop — you can still feel at a remove from The Information, as if viewing it from the far side of a wide moat. Walking creates a mobile oasis as it primes the well of creativity. It’s more essential to visit now that even in Wordsworth’s days of endless rambling.

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