Mr Kofi Adu Labi, Legal/Management Consultant/Author, has advised writers to make regular systematic walking and meditation part of their daily regimen.
“You will feel better mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. In the process, you will become a better writer and the literature landscape of Ghana and Africa will be the richer,” Mr Labi stated on Sunday in his presentation at the Ghana Association of Writers (GAW) virtual meeting on the theme: “Literature and COVID-19”.
“I am convinced that one sure way to do this is to embark on the discipline of walking. Yes, I use the expression Discipline of Walking with all seriousness. Walking that way is a discipline. It is regular, consistent and not sporadic.”
He urged writers to take a brisk, health walk every morning: Day after day after day.
On the benefits of walking and how they related to COVID-19 and Literature, Mr Labi said walking allowed writers to gather their thoughts.
“Indeed, truly, great thoughts are often conceived while walking. I have no doubt that this is the case for many of us. While walking, my mind has often been able to break down abstract ideas into reader friendly statements which I quickly jot down immediately I get back home,” he said.
He noted that walking allowed writers to take in the sights; the birds, trees, flowers, landscape, all provided inspiration for writing, composing stories and commentaries.
In addition, walking allowed writers to see the beauty of the earth and the beauty of the skies.
He said walking calmed a person down: “Let’s face it! COVID-19 is causing a lot of anxiety and stress. Calm down! I say, Calm down!”
Mr Labi said the act of walking could have a moderating, soothing and calming effect.
He said walking would help writers regain their composure and bring out their creativity.
Mr Labi, who is also a retired Adviser of the Bank of Ghana, said walking would allow writers to discover, and rediscover themselves.
“Walking provides solitude. We all need solitude from time to time for the sake of our sanity. Walking will help unclutter your mind and provide space for you to think through issues.”
Mr Labi said: “Walking is healing. Healing of the mind and of the body. Your mind gets renewed. Your muscles get tuned up. Walking helps build the immune system. Walking helps with your emotions and your spirituality. Isn’t this such good news for creative minds?”
He reiterated that all the great protest movements of the world started as walks.
“What has COVID-19 got to do with literature? A lot, I would say. This enemy may have turned your plans upside down. Your expectations may have been thrown out of the window. Without exception, we have all been shaken out of our comfort zones.
“And more than ever, our search for purpose in life has become more paramount. What can we do? What do we do?”
Mr Labi said, he was convinced that there should be a silver lining for writers, even in these unprecedented times; declaring that “after all, necessity is the mother of invention”.
“For starters, let’s use the period to do a systematic journaling of our thoughts and experiences. Write it down, I always insist. Let’s use the changed circumstances to sit down and tell our stories,” he said.
Quoting Erling Kagge, a Norwegian explorer, author, lawyer and politician, he said “sitting is a capitalist plot to make us consume more”!
Mr Labi said: “In our case, I am asking that we create a revolution or new movement in writing in Ghana through walking in the COVID-19 era. Let’s stop consuming more foreign literature!”
“All because you started walking, never look back and do not allow COVID-19 to scuttle your literary dreams. Will you take up the challenge?”