Move Your Body, Recharge Your Writing

Here’s my blog originally posted in Grubstreet Daily, Boston’s acclaimed writer’s community…

Are you aware you can leverage the intelligence of your muscles, skin and bones to produce compelling writing that moves your readers emotionally and physically?

Massage, bodywork and dance are my moves of choice. Many people think of massage as a way to check out of the work world, but it can also help you nourish your creative energy and find the mental focus and physical stamina called for in the crafting phase of writing. You can give yourself a quick massage, but it’s always better when someone else applies gentle pressure and warmth to those achy neck bones or tight shoulder muscles.

Tips that get you moving (and then get you back to writing)

■ Get up from your chair and try a mini active meditation when mind and heart flag. 

Active meditation, including techniques like erratic breathing, speaking in gibberish, jumping up and down shouting hoo, hoo, hoo clear out mental blocks, increase emotional flow and boost energy. Remove the tension, restore inspiration. See for the complete instructions.

■ Back or legs tired from sitting too long? Put your favorite music on and rock out for 10 minutes. Instant reboot.

■ Do your shake and shimmy in front of a window so your eyes adjust to looking far away after hours tethered to the short range of a computer screen. Ninety-five percent of the neck and shoulder pain treated in my massage office comes from too much sitting in front of ergonomically-skewed computer stations. This ten-minute reset will give you two more hours of writing stamina.


Why it works

Our bones are wrapped in a kind of connective tissue or fascia, called the periosteum. The periosteum gives rise to other tendons and ligaments and is part of the continuous “neuromyofascial” web that holds us together, forms the biological container and connector for every organ, including the muscles. Fascia gives us stability and flexibility. Fascia becomes our bodies’ unique shapes as a result of how we use our bodies, the moves and grooves we make every day.

 When you direct attention to the periosteum, exert pressure or change the temperature of the tissue that wraps the bones, it starts to release a cascade of energy to other body parts.

It only follows that this release of energy can give a boost to your creativity. You get a natural rush, your mind clears, your heart opens.

If you want to move yourself and your readers, just move your body in a new way.

Gives “writing down the bones” a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?

(Thank you, Natalie Goldberg, for getting this conversation rolling about how the body charges the mind and fuels creativity and inspiration.)