Ideas, Uncategorized


I spend a lot of time sitting at a desk. And I’m not alone.

According to recent numbers from Statistics Canada, 81.6 % of Canadians over the age of 15 who are employed in full-time work are sedentary for 68.9% of their day1.

In other words, we sit. A lot.

A daily walking habit is one of the easiest ways to enjoy the mental and physical health benefits of exercise and fresh air, but it can be hard to find the time–and the motivation–to get outside. Especially living in Toronto…in winter.

Find Tanya on Twitter @editortanya
Photo credit: Twitter

In 2019, Massachusetts-based editor and translator Tanya Gold (@editortanya on Instagram and Twitter) took to social media to say that she had fallen out of her habit of taking a daily walk and to ask if anyone else was also struggling. She put out a call asking for ways that we could motivate each other to get outside for a walk–and hold each other accountable.

The answer? #StetWalk! The writing and editing community soon lit up with photos and hashtags, and it became very clear that Tanya was not the only one who wanted to get outside more!

Before long, the hashtag was popping up on social media feeds across North America–and around the world!

Fast forward to today and the #StetWalk hashtag has been used on Instagram more than 5,000 times!

But wait. Why #StetWalk? How did the #StetWalk hashtag come about?

In an interview with Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty, Tanya’s friend and fellow editor Heather Saunders (@H_E_Saunders on Twitter) explains, “I brainstormed a tag with the goal that it’d be fun, memorable, and related to editing. But most of all, I wanted it to be cheerful so it would be fun to post. I liked the playfulness of #StetWalk because it combines a term that means ‘let it stand’ with doing anything but standing still—walking, running, even simply getting outside for a minute.”

So how do you go for a #StetWalk?

First, check out the #StetWalk hashtag on Instagram and Twitter and feel the inspiration take hold! Then, put on a pair of comfy shoes (or boots if you live in Toronto and it’s February) and get outside! On your walk, take a photo of something–anything–and post your photo to Instagram and/or Twitter with the hashtag #StetWalk.

Welcome to the #StetWalk community!

And here’s a hot tip for all you creatives out there. Stuck in a plothole? Struggling with a theme or looking for ideas? I have figured my way out of more creative problems while out on my daily #StetWalk than I ever have while sitting at my desk! (The notes app on my phone is proof!)

You can go on all kinds of #StetWalks!

Spring #StetWalks…

Summer #StetWalks:

Fall #StetWalks:

Winter #StetWalks:

City #StetWalks:

Summer night #StetWalks:

Or how about a mossy #StetWalk?!

So get outside and enjoy a #StetWalk today–and every day! Take a friend or enjoy some alone time. Bring along a device and enjoy music, or perhaps a podcast, an audiobook, or maybe even some walking meditation. Or, simply enjoy the sounds of the world around you.

Most of all, have fun with it! Go for a #StetRun, #StetHike, #StetSwim, take along a #StetPet…well, you get the idea!


Unless specified, photo credits: Michelle Woodvine and WoodvineWrites © 2022. Not to be used without written permission from the owner.


Welcome to 2022 on #TheBookshelf!

It’s a new year. Maybe you’ve set up a new planner. Maybe you’ve been thinking about goals for your business. Maybe you’d like this to be the year that you finally finish that novel, find the time to go for more walks, meditate, read more books, or learn a new skill.

Or maybe you’re thinking that making plans is daft, because you struggle to stick to schedules and never met a goal you couldn’t miss, and—hey, doom scrolling much? Sure, why not. I mean, it’s been a year (or ten…).

Go follow James Clear…go on…I’ll wait here for you.

Listen, I hear you. I know only too well about best-laid plans…you read the latest productivity hack, download a snappy new habit tracker, set up schedules, make lists of your goals…

But then nothing goes according to plan and you’re left feeling like a failure.

So, what to do?

After years of setting and failing to follow through on countless writing schedules, creating fancy new exercise plans, and generally setting unrealistic/unattainable goals, I realised that I was trying to fit my life into the plan when what I needed to do was fit the plan into my life.

Check out Chris Bailey’s excellent A Life of Productivity website, podcast, and book!

So how do you turn things around? How do you make plans that you can stick to?

Before you try a new habit, take some time to get to know yourself. Are you more likely to exercise if you put your workout clothes out the night before?

Are you more likely to finish a project if you work on it first thing in the morning? In the afternoon? What about if you tied it to another activity that you like to do? Don’t be above bribing yourself! Nothing beats a little *reasonable* incentive to help get things done (but maybe don’t do the the one chocolate chip per math problem thing with your kids unless you want them pinging about like t-i-double-guh-urrs).

The Pinkcast is one of my favourite new things so far this year!

Ahem…where was I?…

Ah, yes…

Finally, if you’re setting goals or trying to build new habits, keep it simple! Take that first step and then decide what comes next. You don’t have to have all the answers now. Just have an idea of where you want to go and take a step that will point you in that direction.

Does it take effort, setting goals and building habits? Absolutely. Will things work the way you want them to every day? Not a chance. But life is not about perfection, it’s about being flexible, being kind to yourself, and ultimately, showing up for yourself every day.

Visit Sarah Andersen on Instagram.

Start with baby steps. One thing at a time. And don’t be afraid to abandon a plan that isn’t working. Think of it more like a dance than a march.

Case in point? This very blog. In 2021, I planned to blog every week. I had a beautiful schedule–colour-coded and everything. But the blogs I wrote were rambling and took far too long to write (not to mention the time to source photos, create hyperlinks, set up social media sharing).

So I sat down with a notepad and thought about what I wanted the blog to be. Which was more important: long posts or regular posts? The answer was regular posts. So I created a new format for my book reviews, which will hopefully keep them consistent and more straightforward, and set myself a shorter word-count. My goal for #TheBookshelf in 2022 is to share weekly snapshots of what I’ve been reading, tips for writers and editors, or new things I’ve learned.

Click here to read more about Jack Layton.

So, here’s to 2022. It’s been a brutal two years, but we got this. In this new year, be kind to yourself and others, learn something new, and above all, never lose your wonder!

Say hi in the comments or visit me on Instagram @woodvinewritesewrites