I did two things today that I hadn’t done in a while — went running and started writing a new story. These two things were both on my to-do list — or my get-back-to-it list — but they’re related in a more direct way.

The easy reader that I started working on came to me while I ran. (It helps to go three miles, rather than do a 40-yard-dash and call it a morning.) I don’t mean it came to me word-for-word, but the setup and key transitions and the ending all did. With a little more time than my lunch hour provided, I would have gotten a complete draft down today, too.

Too often, especially recently, 6 a.m. has arrived and rather than get out of my writing chair and go get some exercise, I’ve noodled around on the computer for most of the next hour. I may have made some progress on my revisions or caught up on things bloggy, but what I didn’t do was get inspired.

I don’t know why I have to keep relearning this, but I do: Exercising, moving my body around, getting the blood flowing, and putting myself in a situation where there’s nothing for my brain to think about besides what’s swirling around deep inside it — time and again, this is where my best ideas come from, ideas for fixing stories that are vexing me and for coming up with new ones.

Walking’s good, too. Jumping rope would be fine. I’ve got nothing against our exercise bike. But running’s best for me. It’s an essential part of my writing, if I remember to do it.

I wonder if I can deduct my shoes as a business expense…