My latest Writer Mama column…

April is for Action
By Amy Mercer

Amy MercerSpring has arrived here in the south. I’ve packed away our winter clothes, opened up the windows, and re-stocked my allergy medicine. I’ve also packed away the piles of essays, article pitches and research material into binders and folders from Target. I bought a woven basket and placed it next to my desk for all the folders I need within arm’s reach. I went through my bookcase and pulled the hardbacks I won’t be re-reading (because I never read a book more than once even with the best intentions) to sell them on my account.Once my “office” is in order; (or my corner of the dining room) it’s time to get outside. Some of my best ideas for stories come while I am running along the trails of our neighborhood, riding bikes with my kids or pulling weeds. It might look like I’m playing, but I am hard at work; I breathe the fresh air, work up a sweat and unleash my imagination. As my feet pound a steady rhythm along the dirt trails, words flow like a rushing river. I sprint toward home and furiously type the words while sweat drips down my back and my breathing slows.

Spring has sprung and like the rushing river, my imagination has been cleared of its clutter and I sit down to write. Here’s some inspiration to get you moving:


1.    Read Joyce Carol Oates’ essay about writing and running, To Invigorate Literary Mind, Start Moving Literary Feet, from the New York Times archives. (www.newyorktimes/library/books/071999oates-writing.html) for inspiration, “In running the mind flies with the body.”

2.    Read just a few lines  of, “Morning Poem” by Mary Oliver:

If it is your nature
to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination
alighting everywhere.

3.    Get outside and get moving! Then see what happens in the first fifteen minutes after you sit back down to work. Better? You don’t have to exercise vigorously to achieve positive results. Even a short walk will often do the trick.

Happy springing into action, mamas!

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