Taking A Break From Writing…If My Brain Will Let Me

It can be hard to switch off from something that is so involving mentally. How do you distance yourself from one particular creative outlet? In the beginning I found it hard to get going; putting those words on the page was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do and could be frustrating at times. So I’m reluctant to turn my brain off from it. What if it won’t restart?

In addition to being a wannabe writer, I am also occasionally a wannabe artist. Aha! I’ve been smacked between the eyes with an idea! I will draw for a day or two. I’ll still be doing something creative so my brain won’t freeze up completely but I won’t be stuck in front of the screen staring at paragraph after paragraph of a story I just want to end. 

Watching movies, reading books, playing games…they’re all great past-times to have and can be entertaining enough. But there’s no guarantee that they will be immersive enough to keep me from thinking about my stories. I find myself interacting with characters and devising plots even while I’m doing something else. I know when I get to the stage that my mind is still consumed by this stuff when I go to bed at night, that maybe it’s time to give it a rest for a bit.

Switching your focus to something else that involves creative input can help you relax and, if you’re having trouble getting started, perhaps give you inspiration. 

When I was at university I found it difficult to switch off at night so I would listen to music and just let my mind wander. That works better for me than watching TV though I’m not sure why. Most of the time I would fall asleep before I was finished the album. (For years I had only heard the first half of Arcade Fire’s Funeral) I would wake up relatively refreshed. 

These days I like to read at night but sometimes I find myself looking at the words on the page and thinking “How did she write that?” if the book is well-written, and if its not I wonder if I could have written it better. Everybody is different and has their own ways of relaxing/finding inspiration. 

Friday is often the day I don’t produce much in the way of words as it’s my catching-up-with-housework day so I reckon it can also be my explore-other-things day. It’s my Fickle Friday.


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