One of the mistakes I’ve been careful to avoid is depleting the creative reservoir.
I envision this as something that happens when you dive into creative pursuits full-time, facing a blank canvas or blinking cursor for eight hours a day, no other choice but to work for your rent. The horror!
I know some people work well this way, but it makes me feel ill to even think about it. Forced into the focus and then chained to it no matter what. This has something to do with my multipotentiality, no doubt.
My strategy has been to tack back and forth (seasickness alert: sailboat analogy), balancing concerted writing effort with a day job that consumes all of my social energy. Most of the time, this works well.
However, sometimes even a carefully balanced schedule of creative pursuits and rent-earning ones can leave me feeling drained. What can we do to recharge those creative batteries?
- Surround yourself with Nature: breathe in the clean air, listen for the sounds of the creatures living their completely different lives, close your over-active eyes.
- Give yourself space: stop trying to solve the plotting problem or squeeze more minutes out of the day. Just let yourself be, in the moment, and appreciate what you have now.
- Move yourself: use music to get going or explore how you can stretch your body in silence. Rhythm, repetition, meter–these are all vocabulary of dance, as well as poetry. Whether it’s a dance or a run, moving your body makes room for the shifting of internal logjams.
- Surround yourself with inspiration: use your senses to enhance your work environment: postcards and prints on your wall, candles or flowers in your living space, a soft rug under your feet, books and CDs at the ready when research is needed.
- Do all of these at once by going into a forest, finding a quiet space alone, dancing your heart out to music in your head, then resting and rehydrating with a big, fat novel in the shade of the trees!
These are my general strategies, but I know we all have our own pet methods.
Have you got any to contribute to your community? The more bizarre, the better!
Image via Tourism in India