Finishing the first draft of a story is like reaching the top of a mountain…a mountain you have been rolling a boulder up the side of. Yes, a very enjoyable, fulfilling boulder…but a boulder nonetheless. But now this boulder sits on the peak. The muse’s feet are bruised, and its fingers are cramped. The boulder must be refined. It must be sculpted and chiseled down into its refined state (hopefully one worthy of being published). But before breaking out the hammer and etching acid, it’s time for a foot rub. After completing a task like drafting a novel, it is necessary to give yourself a break from the writing task. There is a reason people say the mind is a muscle. Not only must it be used to be strengthened, but it also must be given a chance to recover from its exertions, otherwise it will lose all reserves of energy…or in a writer’s case–creativity.
So what are ways that I give my brain a break? I go a couple days without writing for hours on end. Now, if inspiration does strike during this time, sure, I’ll go until the flow stops. But I’m not going to make myself sit down and grit it out like I do every day during a project. Also, I do a few things I enjoy. I read a book. I treat myself to some sort of dinner I like…maybe Asian take-out, or a pizza. I watch a movie. I go for long walks thinking about nothing in particular. I just have a little fun and take the focus off of bending my head over the keyboard. I let my eyes lose their focus on the lands of imagination so that when I turn back to them later, I’ll be able to bring them into sharper focus.
Never forget to rest and enjoy the freedom the writing lifestyle brings.
So today’s link doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with writing. But it is fun:
I see that smile.