How zombies make me a better writer

by Rebecca on May 18, 2012

I recently outran five zombie mobs. My kids ask if I did a zombie run when they get home and whether the zombies got me. At least two of them understand that I’m not really being chased.

I’ve been playing Zombies, Run! I take my iPhone on my run, start the app, and I hear the story between the songs on my playlist. There are also zombie chases–I have to speed up to outrun the zombies.

At first I felt strange actually tweeting about my run. And then I realized that I had left a voicemail in the middle of the day with a client saying that I would get back with him after my run. No euphemism about a meeting or a conference call. Yikes. While I know that exercise makes me a better writer and thinker, what would my clients—other attorneys—think if I’m not glued to my desk chair? That I’m less committed? Not a hard worker?

So I eagerly read this article when it appeared in my e-mail today: Run to Write: How Exercise Will Make You a Better Writer. Written by Ben Opipari, it looks at the science of how running improves your cognitive powers and creativity. Even after one run, you can think more creatively and increase your problem-solving skills. Ben digests the science into six rules. Rule #3 taught me that I should time my runs with my work for the day to make the most use of the improvement in my cognition; too often I wait until the end of the day to run. Rule #4 encouraged me to try some new routes and to get out to the river for a run.

If you are stuck on a legal issue, don’t stay at your desk and skip lunch trying to find the answer. Instead, go for a zombie run. Or maybe a quiet run to work out the issues in your head. Just get the blood flowing.

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