Writers and Running


Nick Ripatrazone on why writers need to run:

While on sabbatical in London in 1972, a homesick Oates began running “compulsively; not as a respite for the intensity of writing but as a function of writing.” At the same time, she began keeping a journal that ultimately exceeded 4,000 single-spaced, typewritten pages. “Running seems to allow me, ideally, an expanded consciousness in which I can envision what I’m writing as a film or a dream,” she wrote. Oates still runs along “a country road that goes up a hill” where she feels “there will be ideas waiting for me … If I just sat in a room it wouldn’t be the same thing.” Don DeLillo also relished the transporting effects of running after his morning writing sessions: “This helps me shake off one world and enter another. Trees, birds, drizzle—it’s a nice kind of interlude.”

Lyz's writing has been published in the New York Times Motherlode, Jezebel, Aeon, Pacific Standard, and others. Her book on midwestern churches is forthcoming from Indiana University Press. She has her MFA from Lesley and skulks about on Twitter @lyzl. Lyz is a member of The Rumpus Advisory Board and a full-time staff writer for the Columbia Journalism Review. More from this author →