A Gym for the Mind

I do my best to keep the rundown old body fit, with visits to the gym and panting my way in a stumbling jog around my beloved River Exe.

Which also brings the benefit of fabulous sights, like this week's dramatic graphite sky - 

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But one of the less celebrated delights of writing is that it keeps the mind fit, too. 

There's a fair bit of research to say that exercising the brain helps ward off degenerative illnesses, and keep the thing sharp. Just as we're often told how important physical exercise is. 

Which makes perfect sense. As the old saying goes - like body, like mind. 

Whether it's thinking up a new plot, characters, or a whole new setting, it's all hard to beat for stretching the mind. 

There's nothing wrong with taking the brain offline for a while; everything needs a break. And for me, that usually means a couple of hours watching a football match, or a film. 

But I would hate, hate, hate, and hate some more to be one of those folk, who, when they sit down in a cafe, pub or restaurant... 

Immediately get out their phone and start gazing at it. Instead of looking around, feeling the place, weighing up the people, observing the world. 

Which all feeds into the mind and the writing thing. The art of observation is so very important, and that takes thought. 

Personally, I'm very fond of my wits, count myself hugely blessed to have a passably decent mind, and plan to do my best to keep the thing in reasonable working order for as long as possible. 

Which is just another of the many great things about writing; it's like a gym for the brain.