What Going To The Park Daily Did For My Creativity

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As writers, we often spend hours hunched on our desks, awaiting inspiration. I was sitting there too, staring eye-to-eye at a blank paper. It had been almost three weeks since I had written a single verse of poetry. 


The words just weren’t coming to me. 

Even at my freelancing gig, I was stuck on an article, unsure where to begin, what to write, and how to proceed. I didn’t know what to do, caught in a muddy writing slump. 

Hunting new ways of self-care for creators, I stumbled onto research examining the impact of nature on productivity. The paper proved that being near nature can help enhance creative ways of thinking, especially the preparation phase (ideation and/or collecting enough information) and the incubation phase (contemplation) of the creative process

I remembered all the circular walks I used to take in the park pre-pandemic. But I hardly ever walked in stillness. I used music to drown the noise of cheering children. I decided to give the quiet-do-nothing-else-walk a shot. 

I found a desolate park right around the block, empty of people in sunny winter afternoons. So, I took my mask, sprayed my sanitizer, and picked up my diary as I ditched the earphones. Initially, it was nothing extraordinary. I used to think about the tasks pending at home and work, plan my next hour, wonder what I’ll have for dinner, etc. 

But after a week or so, my mind quietened. I started noticing the different flowers, unusual leaves, and XXL trees. On an exceptionally bright day, I felt like I was a baby rocking back and forth in nature’s crib. It felt therapeutic, but it didn’t solve my many problems; it just temporarily flew me away from them. 

After a couple of weeks, I became familiar with the park. My mind wandered from the neighbor’s window, to the old swing set, and to a (Eureka!) moment of inspiration. I had finally landed on it! The lines of a poem simply showed their face to me. Thankfully, my optimism had allowed me to carry my diary still, and I wrote my fleeting ideas quickly. A couple of days later, I cracked that freelancing-article problem with the strongest Thor-hammer. 

I was astonished. I was so sure that this slump might just last indefinitely. Then, I remembered what I had known all along: that nature has been a nurturer of creativity for many authors before me. 

Mary Oliver went on long walks in the early mornings with her diary. “I could not be a poet without the natural world,” she said. Whitman celebrated the natural world through his poems like  “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d.” He believed humans are a natural part of the world and will continue to be even after death. Thoreau believed physical engagement with nature had a direct effect on a writer’s prose. Atwood advises either going to sleep or going for a walk when you’re stuck on a story. 

I don’t know why nature has continued to birth creative inspiration to creators of all kinds. Maybe the fresh air gets us thinking in a way a static desk cannot. Maybe it is the powerful all-giving sunshine that boosts serotonin. Or maybe it is just the simple fact that being outside can boost mental health.

Whatever the reason, it is a great way to escape, to take a short break, to spend a few minutes in leisure. I always feel rested when I come back from my walk, yet my mind cannot stop popping new ideas or resolve the old ones. 

Now, I go to the park at least four times a week. But when there’s too much to tackle, and a blank-paper syndrome is onto me, I know I need to walk a little longer. 

Rochi is a staff writer at Elite Content Marketer and a closet poet. If you believe there is nothing that cannot be cured by watching a F.R.I.E.N.D.S episode and relishing fresh poetry, sign up for her weekly newsletter


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

first appeared on www.pickthebrain.com

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