Writing With Your Body

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Among the many ideas I like to poke holes in is the concept that our bodies and minds are somehow separate things. Our bodies are absolutely fundamental to the way our thinking works, and can be a great source of writing energy and inspiration. Yesterday I had the honour of rambling on this subject over on Felip Adan Lerma’s blog. Here’s the beginning of that post:

Writing with your body

Sancho McCann

Thinking, and therefore writing, is about more than just our brains. Those squishy masses of grey cells and synapses sit within our bodies and are inextricably entangled with them. Despite the dualistic thinking that we sometimes slip into, the mind and body are not separate.

For writers this has two main implications. One is that you really need to take care of your body. But the more exciting implication is that you can use your body to help you to think and write better…


To read more, including some practical ideas for moving your body around and so sharpening your writing, head on over and read Guest Post : Andrew Knighton – Writing With Your Body.

And tomorrow the roles are reversed, as Felipe Adan brings his own thoughts on writing to this blog, celebrating the joys of short form writing.


In the meantime, don’t forget to check out my new story collection, Riding the Mainspring, available on all your different Amazons, including Amazon.com for the Americans, Amazon.co.uk for us Brits, and of course the much-neglected Canadian Amazon (there you go Sue – this time I included Canada!).


Exercise photo by Sancho McCann via Flickrcreative commons.

6 thoughts on “Writing With Your Body”

    1. Good post! I personally use dance as the first part of my writing routine — though sometimes it’s just pacing to a beat, listening to music that’s pertinent to the section I’m about to write/edit. But I’ve also done some exercise with weapons to try to get a feel for my combat-based characters (plus I…I like knives…), or with ‘magic’ when I’m trying to describe the gestures, or just various poses for combat such as quickly rising from prone position — actually practicing what I’m describing so I can write it better/more realistically. Since I’m generally a lazy-bones, it’s been helpful for me to figure out what works and what reeeeeally doesn’t.

      1. I love that idea of making movement the start of your writing routine – might have to try that myself. I’m not much of a dancer but I also find that one’s a good help. There’s something liberating about it, and the complete separation from words helps.

        In combat terms I’m lucky – years of live roleplay hasn’t taught me the gruelling weight and noise of real weapons, but it’s given me some idea of what you have to consider when fighting with medieval weapons, and of just how chaotic battles can be.

        1. The chaos is such a big thing- seeing a group of people in armour surging past and having no idea whether they are enemies or allies. I mean, uniform surcoats must have helped with that, but the means of judging friend and foe is extraordinarily difficult.

          1. I wonder how much in the Dark Ages, with smaller scale battles, it came down to recognising individuals from your lord’s feasting hall, or listening out for what language they shouted in. Because like you say, that chaos is overwhelming at times.

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