Writing on the Hoof

By: Rick Chapo

Finding inspiration when you are writing is often a haphazard affair. When you are physically ready to write, nothing comes. When you are pumping gas, an epiphany!

Writing on the Hoof

It happens to me all the time. I work all day writing a wide variety of pieces for the various sites I own. Sometimes it goes well. Sometimes it does not. Around midnight, I lay down to go to sleep. Just as I am about to nod off, bang! The ideas start coming. It is like a flood. So, do I get up and start writing? Do I go to sleep and trust I will remember in the morning? Personally, I compromise and jot down my thoughts in a journal. In the morning, a review of my notes usually kindles the fires of my memories and off I go.

As a person who writes one a wide variety of subjects, I can’t tell you how valuable I find writing journals. I carry one with me all the time and it usually lasts a few months before it is full. Without it, I can only imagine how many of my random thoughts would never have made it to paper. Frankly, thousands of dollars in fees would have been lost.

I use writing journals in two ways. The first use is as an epiphany note pad. Whenever and wherever I am, I can jot down this and that as it percolates in my mind. No, I don’t take a journal on dates!

The second way I use a journal to help my writing is something I call writing on the hoof. Living in San Diego, there are lots of places to go for hikes. When I use the term hike, keep in mind I consider taking the garbage out a hike. Regardless, the act of walking is one that helps clear my mind. Perhaps it is just the fresh air, but I can feel the tension leave my body and thoughts begin to flow. As you might guess, I drag my journal with me to jot down those thoughts. In fact, this very article came about from this exact process.

If you write frequently, I highly recommend you get some exercise and take a journal with you. You might have the epiphany you need to finish your masterpiece.

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