Writing books is a solitary activity. It’s easy to get ‘in the groove’ and become a hermit. That’s why it’s important to step away from work often and return to life in the real world. I have several ways to replenish myself; many are related to writing but a few take me to distinct alternatives.
1. I read books from a variety of genres, discuss them with my book club and friends and write down sentences or paragraphs that stop me and request I consider their images/sentence structure/loveliness.
2. I visit with fellow writers. I know, that like a bus man’s holiday, but having a chance to hear about their works, talk about problem areas in mine, and wander through bookstores with them rejuvenates me.
3. I clean my office. When I write, I create dozens of post-its, save articles, take out maps, and tab pages in books. Getting in, reorganizing my research and uncovering my desk is therapeutic. I am able to put away things I’m finished using which allows me to feel I’m making progress with my current writing project.
4. I walk. The rhythm of walking ignites ideas and relaxes me. I get a fresh look at my surroundings, check out the changes and often go home and cook or grab a cup of tea and a book.
5. I attend conferences and debrief afterward. Listening to guest speakers and then taking time to meet with fellow writers afterward recharges my writing. The recent WOTS conference was a perfect example of that. I attended both days, sat lunch with fellow writers and enjoyed hosting an out-of-state guest. Before that, I attended a book event in Bellingham, WA with three area writers, giving me the opportunity to get to know them more personally as we shared a table and a meal during the day.
6. I travel. My husband would laugh at my saying this, since I’m a homebody when I’m in a writing project. (I can go days without leaving the house when I’m in the writing groove or when I’m stuck.) But, I’m starting to realize that I need to allow myself to rekindle friendships that have faded from lack of contact. Therefore, I’m finding ways to get away, travel to visit with friends in other states and just relax away from my projects.
All this being said, I’m taking off a week from my blog to replenish myself. As for which tactic I plan to follow…that will be my next blog.
I’m curious. How do you replenish yourself? Please share your techniques. I’m always open to new ideas.