Sometimes when I am walking well it feels like I am still. Instead of moving through the world, the world moves about me.

I walk through the cold fall morning—the sky sprinkles on me. Leaves that displayed themselves proud on their branches on Sunday are now, on Monday, piled up on the sidewalk. The grey sky is visible and the Confederate soldier who stands guard over the square is less hidden.

I walk still and the world moves about me.

A young black man rides a lime green bike toward the coffee shop. He wears a black balloon vest so baggy he could fit four of his skinny frame into it. He wears a black hat sideways. He reminds me of the 90s?

The first time I saw him, he swaggered into the coffee shop, a cigarette between his lips. I wondered how long it would take for Vicky to kick him out. There was no smoke coming from the cigarette, though. Just a little mist. And I realized he smoked one of those fake cigarettes full of nicotine “vapor” you can buy on late night infomercials. He took a puff and the tip lit up LED red.

As he leans his bike against a newspaper box I wonder. What is his life like? What are his dreams and where did he learn to swagger? Where did he buy that balloon vest—did he fawn over it when he first saw it?

And of course, would he make a good character in a novel?

These are the thoughts you can afford when you’re still. If you walk too quickly you scare them. They fly away like frightened doves.

Be still today. A writer cannot afford to scare away inspiration.


Joe Bunting
Joe Bunting
Joe Bunting is a writer and entrepreneur. He is the author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller Let's Write a Short Story! and the co-founder of Story Cartel. You can follow him on Twitter (@joebunting).