Marc Anthony said, “When you do what you love you never work a day in your life”. Though this saying is true, every person eventually needs a break. No matter how much you love your life, it’s nice to take a few moments every now and then to relax and recharge. This is true for writers as much as anyone. To sit down at your computer and lose yourself in the world of your latest masterpiece is one of the best experiences any writer will ever be offered. As pleasurable as this is, however, every brain eventually needs a little rest. Often we writers find the very idea of taking a break frustrating in the extreme, especially on those special days when we are deep in the throes of a storyline we have spent many hours creating. For those of you who share this problem, here are a few tricks I find always help me reach that point of personal tranquility.
1. Exploit Your Other Talents
One of our greatest problems as writers is when we come to a problem we like to dwell on it until we find the perfect answer. I know I am as guilty as anyone of spending hours on a detail as small as a supporting character’s name. Sometimes the best resolution for this is to distract your mind. All of us possess more than one talent. Perhaps you enjoy painting or maybe you were born with a green thumb. Use these abilities to shift your focus away from the source of the problem. By doing this you allow your mind a little breathing room as well as relieving a little stress. Not only will this ease your stress, it will also help relieve those large blocks that are halting your thought process.
2. A Little Exercise
Every writer has a favorite spot where they love to sit and weave their tales- unfortunately, nine out of ten times this involves sitting complacently in front of a screen. Not to mention, this usually occurs indoors. It is a medical fact, exercise is good for the mind and the body. Use this to your advantage. Whether it’s going for a swim or taking a quick jog down the street, even a small amount of exercise can help you to temporarily forget your troubles.
3. A Good Book and a Hot Cup of Tea
My personal favorite- sitting down on the couch with a good book and a warm cup of tea near my elbow. I’ve often considered how ironic the notion is that I would take a break from grinding my brain cells writing only to turn around and do so in a very similar method. Nonetheless, this above all other options seems to do help me wind down and ease up on life in general. To create a world is a can’t-miss experience, but occasionally it’s just as nice to lose yourself in one already at your disposal.
4. Small Talk
For a breed of people who tend to lose themselves in their own world, it can be a great relief to talk to another person. This is especially true when we have a large problem on our hands. It goes without saying that talking out your troubles can often be the best way to resolve them. Not to mention a little conversation, in general, can be a welcome change and an enjoyable experience.
5. Dinner and a Movie
No, I’m not referring to the kind where you put on a little black dress, do your hair, and take your date by the arm. Though this can be just as fun. Actually, I’m talking about calling Pizza Hut, slapping on PJs, and flopping down on the couch with your favorite film- even if it’s only 4:00 pm. When all else fails, the best option can sometimes be to simply call it quits for a while and find something that makes your smile. Mood definitely affects productivity. When a writer slams into a mental block this takes as big a hit as anything. In some cases a worse one. When we cannot resolve our problems we become miserable for ourselves and for all those who happen to be around us. In this case, we are certainly not a balm for our own misery. That little break from life can help us to see our situation more clearly even when nothing else helps.