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.