Welcome to Episode 16 of Live Better with Your Host Yasmin Shiraz. This episode is dedicated to the prolific and beloved African American author Walter Dean Myers who passed away in July of 2014 at the age of 76. His career spanned 45 years and he wrote more than 100 books for children of all ages. His books have received numerous awards including two Newbery Honor Books, six Coretta Scott King Award/Honor-winning books, as well as three National Book Award finals.
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Myers on two different occasions. He towered over me and was if not shy, was not overly talkative when you first met him. At one of the events where we chatted, we talked about writing and his daily routine. Mr. Myers shared with me that he walked 6 miles per day. At the time, I was walking 3 miles a day and felt that 3 miles was quite a bit. Mr. Myers was at least 70 years old when he told me that he was walking that far. To say I was impressed is an understatement.
Before Walter Dean Myers passed, I had planned to do a podcast on walking and creativity/productivity and I thought it’d be awesome to share a tribute to him in writing this podcast because he was such a clear advocate of walking. A lot of people don’t realize that walking can help break up writer’s block, can help solve a problems in that it can help to clear barriers in your thinking. It is often during a solitary walk that people have their eureka moments.
So, I want to ask you today, Have you ever had a problem that you couldn’t solve? Have you ever been in the middle of a story and are stumped as to which step the character should take next? If so, you may want to consider adding walking into your daily routine.
Can walking make you more creative?
Walking is not simply physical exercise, but its mental exercise in that it breaks up blocks in your mind. When I think about Walter Dean Myers and his massive body of work, I wonder how much his daily walk contributed to his ability to create the great number of books that he created. I’m most productive when I am more active. There have been periods in my career where I’ve been less prolific and in those times, I’ve also been less active in my daily life.
So, in this tribute to author Walter Dean Myers, I want us to think about how productive or creative that we’d like to be. Consider walking to boost your creativity /productivity and prevent mental blocks. This concludes Episode 16 of Live Better with your host, Yasmin Shiraz. To check out more about Walter Dean Myers, please check out his website: www.walterdeanmyers.net.