The Peripatetic School


1. Walking about or from place to place; traveling on foot. 2. Peripatetic Of or relating to the philosophy or teaching methods of Aristotle, who conducted discussions while walking about in the Lyceum of ancient Athens.

1. One who walks from place to place; an itinerant. 2. Peripatetic A follower of the philosophy of Aristotle; an Aristotelian.

Middle English peripatetik, from Latin peripat ticus, from Greek peripat tikos, from peripatein, to walk about, or from peripatos, covered walk (where Aristotle allegedly lectured) : peri-, peri- + patein, to walk.

So. What does peripatetic have to do with writing? Good question. I was reading Julia Cameron’s work and she commented that several writers belong to the “peripatetic school.” My first thought was, what the heck is peripatetic? Then it was, what does walking have to do with writing?

Well, try it, then you can tell me.

I should just stop the essay there, but I’ll be kind. For me, walking is something that slows me down to human speed, rather than caffeine speed, stress speed, or I have to finish twenty things in time enough only for ten speed. Walking is repetitive. There’s not much more than pick up one foot, put it in front of the other. Lather, rinse, repeat. This allows the mind to wander while the feet, well, wander.

How is this of benefit to writing?

Well, try it, then… you get the picture.

It’s strange how we get so into our own heads when we write. Our own heads are not necessarily the most helpful places to be when writing, either. But instead of fighting with our internalized voices, next time you are stuck try getting up and walking around the block for twenty minutes. See what interesting insights might bubble up for you.

Besides. You can dazzle and confuse everyone by telling them, “I’m part of the peripatetic school.” “Really? What degree are you getting?”

2 thoughts on “Wiley Wednesday 08/27/2008

  1. Dawn says:

    Great Wiley Cat! I’m gonna have to try that while I’m working on this weeks prompt!

  2. It’s too true. Any sort of repetitive motion, where our bodies are engaged but our minds can wander, are excellent for channeling that creative energy. Not to mention good for us to go out there and experience the world!

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