Yesterday a lot of you mentioned in the comments your habits when it came to writing, especially for writing those difficult scenes.
Sometimes you just need to walk away, many of you said. Let it get cold. Get it off of your mind. Go watch some Korean dramas for crying out loud. (Thanks a lot Gloria, for my new found addiction to Liar Game). Sometimes the writing needs some space.
But don’t you also find that occasionally when the writing spurts it really spurts and it’s like nothing can stop you now. NaNoWriMo could come and pass and you’d still be tapping those fingers away at the keyboard.
I think everything in life has it’s pulse. And just like our own pulses we can have some effect on whether that pulse goes fast or slow—or stops completely.
Sometimes you do need a break. Even if you have deadlines or goals to be met, a break can still do you good. I often go for a walk, or as previously mentioned, watch a Korean drama, or play a mindless game, just to get out of my story head for a minute and breathe.
But when I’m spurting, I tend to let the spurt continue on. For me I tend to jam on through until I encounter a problem that slows me down, makes me rest, makes me think. Sometimes I feel like a bad writer in these situations, but lately I’ve reminded myself much like the heart beat, there needs to be those moments where the pulse goes down again before it comes back up. There has to be those pauses.
For us they may be long pauses or very short ones. For us they may be long spurts or short spurts. After all, a healthy heart gets subjected to more rapid beats for a short period of time.
BUT WHAT ABOUT WHEN THOSE SPURTS NEVER SEEM TO COME?
While it’s important to take a break, it’s important not to stay away too long. For me sometimes the break doesn’t come from no writing, but writing something else. I’ve found a lot of refreshment from going to a completely different genre and letting my writing brain have at it. It could be another novel or a short story, but even if it goes nowhere I think that can be equally as important in “resting” as taking time to get away from writing completely.
I also think reading is another way to refresh the mind. One of my favorite Ray Bradbury quotes essentially says that. It says we’ll never run out of ideas if we’re always stocking the fire with fresh ones.
“If you stuff yourself full of poems, essays, plays, stories, novels, films, comic strips, magazines, music, you automatically explode every morning like Old Faithful. I have never had a dry spell in my life, mainly because I feed myself well, to the point of bursting. I wake early and hear my morning voices leaping around in my head like jumping beans. I get out of bed to trap them before they escape.” -Ray Bradbury
So you’ve shared with me how you take a break from problems? But what things do you do to recharge in general? What about getting inspiration or gaining the motivation to “spurt” your writing? How do you keep your mind fresh and writer’s block far from you?