I’ve written before how going for a run is a way to clear my head and to get new ideas. It’s what I consider as my time, a time of few distractions, a time when I can focus on my latest WIP. And, except for that annoying pain in my heel, I don’t have to think of anything else for the next thirty minutes. While I’m out there, pounding the pavement, I’ve come up with some fixes to problems in the latest manuscript, discovered a few new ideas, and probably some bad ones too. Strangely, some of the process of thinking and landing on a potential way out of a problem comes from this group of people I call my “silent audience.” They wait quietly and I can count on them to always be there. I might give a few of them a brief glance, and sometimes I even stop for a second, just to see if there is something new they can offer up.
Usually, I see the same folks, but occasionally, one or two of newbies have shown up, staking their spot in the mix. They come from all over. Some are rich, others poor, and then there are the ones somewhere in between. There’s at least one editor I know of, along with a few WWII vets. If I decided to investigate a little more, I’d probably find a Vietnam vet. Yep, vets are definitely part of this group. There are real estate agents, insurance agents, doctors, lawyers, nurses, judges, and I could go on and on.
They’ve given me snippets for stories, and they’ve even given me some of the names of my characters. One guy, I felt pretty sure, wouldn’t mind that I used his name in my second book. And there are a couple others who were Free Masons and they provided me with another idea for a character in my third book.
I typically don’t stay with them for too long, usually only about fifteen minutes or so, but not once have I ever left without some new thought or a solution to something in the story that opened up while I was running in their midst. I believe that this group doesn’t mind me being there, with them, even if for only fifteen minutes. I try to respect their privacy, and then…. I leave.