Friday, February 17, 2012

Relax: The Importance of Play

     Some days feel like "the daily grind." At night, when I'm not dreaming about work, it's because I'm too stressed to sleep. You know that feeling?
     As important as it is to cram in time to improve our craft, it's also important to make time for playing around. I've heard this from several writers. There's a time for pushing through the apathy/tears/writer's block, and there's a time to breathe and have fun. Otherwise, our writing can become "blah," and our creativity dries up. I relax for a few minutes little while every day using these techniques.
     Here are four ways to play:
  • Instead of reaching for War and Peace, try reading an old favorite just for pleasure. A love of reading is where we all started. If you've practiced any creative reading, or reading like a writer, you'll automatically pick things up from those fond passages. This can give our overworked minds a break while still feeling productive.
  • Anticipating a heavy day of work? Take a few minutes and try this: Ask yourself what you'd really like to be doing/writing about. Let your mind go where it wants...then write a focused free write about it. Pick an image, or a nice thought, or an interesting idea, and go with it. Don't grab--pluck. Say please. When your time is up, something, which is better than nothing, will be on the page! You might even like it! Keep it and look at it in a week. Is there any gold sifted in with the the soil?
  • Sometimes, our mind needs rest. Call up a friend (or your significant other). Chill with them. You love them, they love you. If you can, do something nice for them, and you'll feel nice, too!
  • Do something else you enjoy. Like to bake? (I do.) Do you run, or bike? Garden? Exercise especially can give you a much needed reprieve.
     These four techniques keep my shoulders from rising to my ears through the day. I hope they help you, too!
     For more fun, inspiring advice on writing, I recommend the book, "No Plot? No Problem!" by the author Chris Baty. This same creative genius created NaNoWriMo. The Lakeport Library has two copies of this book.

No comments:

Post a Comment