I've often gotten some of my best writing ideas while exercising, driving, or doing something else besides staring at the blank screen or page. I come from a family of exercisers, and we've debated through the decades about the value of exercising while plugged in to some technology (used to be a Walkman, these days it's an iPod).
While I understand the value of a beat that keeps you moving, I've usually been exercising outside, and I don't want to cut off one of my senses. I've lost count of the number of times that I've been able to avoid being hit by a car because I could hear it before I could see it (lots of speeders and stop sign runners in my neighborhood). More importantly, I don't want to signal to rapists and muggers that I'm a convenient target because I can't hear them coming.
If I exercised indoors, I might be able to listen to music and still get good writing ideas or solve problems that I'm having with a piece of writing. After all, I drive and listen to music, and I don't find that process affects my inspiration.
Lately, as I've jogged through my neighborhood, I notice many people walking and talking on their cell phones. Are they exercising? I don't know. Some of them are walking to the bus stop or walking the dog. But some of them seem to be working out while talking on the phone. I admire the breath control that must be required to do that, not to mention the motor skills. I can hardly make my cell phone work while standing still with sweat-free hands.
But the main reason that you won't see me working out with a cell phone--or with a friend--is that I value my alone time. My muse won't talk to me if I'm talking to others.
What I Did On My Summer Vacation
1 month ago