Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Recharge....and Write!

Recharging can be really hard, but it’s essential for a writer, or any creative type for that matter. This time of year can be a particular challenge with all the social and family obligations and fun. Add in the extra time (depending on where you live, of course – longing stares directed at those in warm climes LOL) for vehicle cleaning and warming every time you want to go out, all the winter woollies and boots that have to be put on and taken off for each outing. And that’s not even considering regular snow removal from sidewalks, driveways and walkways.

For those writers who use retail therapy as a relaxation technique, even that can be a risky experiment in December. All those frantic men in malls! Some are kind of like the contestants on Survivor in the first couple of weeks – finding themselves in unfamiliar territory, sure they must accomplish something, but not sure how to get it accomplished in time, or who to trust! It does, however, provide some great people watching opportunities, assuming you can find an empty bench.

A quiet evening at home can also help revitalize those storytelling batteries, presuming you can relax with that To-Do list flashing neon headings at you as you try to sink into your favorite chair with a cup of hot chocolate.

All this is also supposing you don’t have any deadlines looming, no galleys to review, no edits to look at…

Please share what you do to get those stories flowing when it’s so busy you barely have time to catch your breath, let alone set aside a few hours of writing time! What are your favorite, tried-and-true creativity exercises?

Libby McKinmer
Romance with an edge
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Margaret Fieland said...

When I want to get my muse going, I'll often pick out some words and play around with them. Three or four seems to be a good number for me. I'll often pick slant rhymes: maid, mage, knave ... and try to work them into a story.

Maeve said...

Nothing recharges me like a walk through the woods - even if it turns out to be a waddling shuffle through the snow with all my layers of clothing! LOL! Great post.

Gracie O'Neil said...

Definitely not retail therapy! :-) Any kind of shopping is a penance, not a joy for me.

I've found a book called "Thinkertoys" by Michael Michalko, and have been working my way through the creative thinking exercises, making them specific to the problems I struggle with as a writer, and the difficulties I'm experiencing with my current WIP.

So when I want to recharge I take one of those exercises--one I've already done the hard work on--and let my imagination take flight on or off topic. It's amazing what happens, and it's always fun. Sometimes it even helps with that mile-long To Do list too!

Happy New Year from New Zealand.


Christine Young said...

Interesting picture you paint, men in malls. Wow! It is a time for setting goals. I don't often use resolution. My problem is time. There just isn't enough of it.

Jean Henry Mead said...

TM (Transidental Meditation) for 20minutes in a quiet room recharges my batteries and gets my brain cells working if I'm stressed, but sitting down at the computer at the same time every day seems to also do the trick. We journalists are fortunately conditioned to write the minute we plant our butts on the chair and don't need much in the way of stimuli to get the creative joices flowing.

Morgan Mandel said...

It's a good idea to get into a pattern of writing at a certain time. Like any habit, it's easier to keep at it that way.

Morgan Mandel