When my children were babies, I stole every nap time minute to write in my workout shoes which I needed to keep up with the demands of motherhood. As soon as I was able, I traded the attire for my “Good morning” apparel to wear while writing which consist of a robe and fluffy pink house shoes.
I then noticed that my creativity began to suffer. I had more writer’s blocks and seemed more distracted. My mind wandered to the calm and peaceful dwelling usually reserved for the stressful times. My productivity at the keyboard consisted of a number of words on paper. The characters remained “two-dimensional.” I felt my writing career start to die.
Then one day I put on my cushion-heeled, arch-supported running shoes before I began writing.
Wow! What a difference! Suddenly my creative juices flowed and my fingers typed.
Some consider me to be an over-analyzer. Being an over-analyzer, I started to ponder why a simple pair of shoes made such a difference.
House slippers sent a comfortable message to my mind causing laziness. I wanted to rest. I wanted to watch the birds fly. I wanted to plan my day. I didn’t want to write.
The house slippers took away my writing routine. I lounged around, took my time to dress then started to run behind schedule. When would I write? The right shoes put me in a routine.
I am not as tempted now to lounge around fooling myself into thinking I have oodles of time only to realize that the sun has gone down. I put the shoes on before I sit at the computer and let my feet take my characters where they need to go.
I also use shoes to help my characters. If a female is in an important meeting wearing a nice suit and 3-inch heels and suddenly finds herself being chased, she is not likely to be running through an alley, climbing a chain link fence and running down several flights of stairs without taking off those heels first. I can write “shoe reality.” If a character is wearing shoes too small, I might put on a pair too small for me to help make my writing more plausible. I literally walk in my character’s shoes.
The “write shoes” do not distract me. They compliment me and are an important part of my writing team. I still have days that I sit down and my fingers freeze blindly looking for the words to type.
On those days I can stare at my shoes and brainstorm. What if aliens wear sneakers? Look at Cinderella. The shoes made the difference with her. What if two lovers meet at freshman mixer looking for their shoes thrown in a pile?
I met the first guy I dated in college that way. The two lovers in my short story mystery met looking for shoes in a pile. Of course, one of them is murdered.
The importance of the “write shoes” may sound trite or even stupid to you. But if your writing has become stale, if your characters have trouble coming to life, if the cogs in your mind are turning slow, consider finding the “write shoes.”
Then click your heels together three times and repeat, “There’s no place like the top of a best seller list.”