You know that exhausted and tired feeling after a long day of standing on your feet? You come home and immediately kick your shoes off and peel off your tired old socks. Ahhh, now that’s relief. You even feel a little bit lighter and brighter in spirit – perhaps a spring in your step. There’s nothing better than pressing your bare feet into a plush carpet or thick grass.
It’s been no secret that when I write my novels, I’m barefoot. Why you ask? The only answer I can convey is that I like it. I feel more relaxed and ideas seem to flow easier.
Once something grabs hold of my curious mind, I can’t seem to let it go until I’m satisfied with the answer. I began to think about the “barefoot syndrome” and here are a few things that I found out that I wanted to share.
There’s actually a society called Society for Barefoot Living founded 1994 with over 1,400 members from around the world. Here’s a quote from their homepage, “Set your feet free and your mind will follow…”
According to an article written in the New York Magazine, we walk wrong and we’re hurting our feet by wearing shoes. This immediately caught my attention and I probed a little bit further in this phenomenon to find out exactly why.
“Natural gait is biomechanically impossible for any shoe-wearing person,” wrote Dr. William A. Rossi in a 1999 article in Podiatry Management.
There are definite health benefits to going barefoot. I was amazed to find out that my quirky writing habit actually has some scientific merit to it. Think about all of the cultures and martial arts disciplines that involve being barefoot.
Kicking off your shoes can actually:
- Keep your feet properly exercised, agile, and in shape. Stronger feet help to make a stronger body. Wearing shoes can actually make your feet lazy and potentially increase the risk of injury.
- Fight varicose veins by improving circulation.
- Relax the body and mind. It changes the mindset that we associate when we’re wearing shoes.
I don’t know if I’m ready to toss all my shoes for the barefoot lifestyle, but I do know that when I’m writing I feel more relaxed and ready to take on any challenge with ease.
What do you think? Are you going to go barefoot more often?
Research and Writing Tip:
Situations involving feet are something that most writers rarely think about incorporating into a storyline. I can think of a few storylines where feet or shoes made a lasting impression. Take the movie DieHard for example, John McLean had to deal with being barefoot while fighting the bad guys in a high-rise building. Do a little research on feet ailments or the benefits of different kinds of shoes. Maybe a hitman character has plantar fasciitis, or a supporting character has difficulty finding a shoe in his/her size, or a love interest has an insatiable foot or shoe fetish. Do a little research – and have fun with feet. All of these little details give characters more depth.
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