Monday, September 14, 2009


By Karen Cino

Back to School! Hmm…not a bad idea for all of us. Come on lets face it, all summer long, the moment we saw the combination of sun and hot weather, we were no where near our computers. Now, it’s time to get into some sort of schedule, along with the kids. The key is structure and a schedule. You would think that with me being home all day that I would be pumping out thousands of words. Absolutely not. I am guilty of dilling and dalling all day long doing…nothing. But I did add some structure in my life during the past few weeks, and plan to expand that into the fall months.

Now you ask, how do you find time to write, let alone think? I have the perfect solution which I’ll walk you through. It will not only open up your mind to endless possibilities, but will keep you trim and fit.

Walking. I find walking is the best way to relax, and get my muse flowing. I walk no matter the weather. I’ve been known to walk during a snow storm. Even if it’s around the block, or walking during your lunch break, use the time to clear your mind and let your characters take over. I always carry colorful index cards with me and a pen, usually sticking out of my ponytail. Believe it or not, this is how I write my outlines. I walk it through one scene at a time. I stop, write my thoughts and continue on my journey.

I’ve used walking to get through some of the toughest scenes that I couldn’t find a resolution to. I have to admit that walking is my salvation. It works wonders for every aspect in my life.

Now, I am going to offer you a challenge. With NaNoWriMo only six weeks away, I challenge you to spend the week putting together a character sketch of both your hero and heroine, include physical and emotional traits. Give your characters a background, a career. Pick your genre and setting. Write a one sentence hook that would describe your book. Believe me, you will be thankful that you created that one liner before you begin your project.

I suggest you grab a pair of sneakers, lace them up and get your imagination walking. A simple walk around the block will clear your mind, waking it up to endless creative possibilities.

BIO:   Karen Cino is President of RWA/NYC. She writes women’s fiction, and is currently working on a fiction book with Staten Island locales.  

Photo credit: Sunrise over Staten Island Boardwalk by Karen.


  1. Hey, Karen. Great idea. Sometimes I need to get out of my chair so I can clear my head and let the characters talk. And, I'm up for NaNo, so count me in.

  2. Hey Karen,

    Good advice and your so right. Walking does help to stimulate your muse. Also it is an excellent FREE exercise. I plan to get back to it (and my Audio Books) as soon as my house guests leave and that includes the dog.
    I really need to get back to it.. and this is a walking neighborhood. Thanks for the great post.

  3. Great idea Karen. I'm all for getting fit and getting that word count up while I'm at it. fun post.

  4. Good advice, Karen. A couple of months ago, I resumed my practice of walking to work four days a week. That mile and a half (about 30 minutes) really does help clear the head and and sometimes the most creative ideas just pop right in, as if from nowhere!


  5. I come up with a lot ideas for songs when i walk as well.

  6. Yeah Karen,

    Your friend from BC, Canada.

    Regis xo

  7. Karen,

    Great idea to plan for NaNo now. I walk to Riverside Park a few times a week, and will use the time to build characters. Multi-tasking is great especially when you can burn up some calories.

  8. I totally agree with the walking aspect, that is for sure. And I am joining you for NaNo in 6 weeks, but I never use an outline...I ride by the seat of my pants!!!

  9. Thank you everyone for stopping by. I just returned from my walk this morning and I'm all geared up and ready to roll. I truly believe in my morning walk. WHen I really get into writer's block, I go for a second walk in the afternoon.