Every few months my trainer and I have a similar discussion. He sees me working out on the cardio equipment and thinks I should be working harder. He believes that because he can read me and know how warm I am, how hard my heart is working, how many calories I'm burning. He knows the physical and wants me to continue to excel.
I remind that often he's missing the more important part of the action.
Let me explain. When I wake up, I might have a clear thought of what I want to write. Some nugget has been growing in my subconscious and has finally sprung and blossomed like a daylily in the field. Usually, however, all I have is a sprout. Maybe a seed. Sometimes, I just have the cultivated dirt warming in my mind.
Not enough to work with.
I scratch through my half-written notes, check my blogrolls, and pray to the muse. That's when I head to the gym and cardio equipment. I learned decades ago that moving is the best way to think. I head for the treadmill most of the time because I can set the time and program then stop paying attention. After a few minutes, my left brain stops working; if I'm really lucky I can totally zone out. For the next 30-45 minutes my body is on auto-pilot.
After I work my body and take a shower, I head toward home. Usually about half-way there an idea springs into my consciousness fully formed. I can't wait to get home and hit the keyboard, where the words flow.
I know the secret is the moving. On those days, more important to me than burning calories is clearing the mind. Letting the subconscious work it's magic. I trust it. And it's seldom let me down. I just need to remind folks sometime that there are a variety of benefits that come from exercise. Calorie burning and heart health are only two. Moving meditation is also a legitimate one.
Do you have a secret way to incubate inspiration?
I also blog at: Deb's Daily Distractions and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.