Top 5 Ways to Stay Sane as a Writer
Top 5 posts HERE.
Writing is a lifestyle where it feels as if you sit on the brink of sanity. Sometimes that's because you hear voices and see "movies" in your head. Other times it's the see-saw of emotions that goes from "Yay! I can really write!" to "I'm the lamest person to ever string two words together. Wah!" and back again.
And that's not counting the crazy stuff involved in getting or staying published.
When I'm losing my mind, here are my top 5 ways of staying SANE:
I always have a book (or two or three or four or . . .) that I'm reading, but I tend to read piecemeal. When I'm in the crazy zone, I find that sitting back and actually reading for an afternoon or an evening is a great way to de-pressurize and get back into the literary groove.
2. Take a Walk.
I walk as long as it takes for my mind to "unkink." No iPod or anything else. Just me and the sidewalk. The first several blocks, my brain chatters about this and that and the other. Eventually, the even pace of my steps and being outside calms the chatter, and my mind relaxes. I've found story ideas and plot solutions when I'm not even trying . . . but when I'm walking.
3. Have an Artist's Date
You know, ala Julia Cameron and The Artist's Way. For me, it can mean walking through the library, taking a jaunt through a thrift store, checking out a local museum, or even the dollar store. Just getting OUT. Sometimes this can be taking my writing with me and writing in a different location, like the picnic table at a park. I have a dream of going to a movie alone some afternoon. Haven't done it yet, but I will.
Another way to unkink my brain. Provided I'm not doing a pattern that requires a lot of thinking, I can knit, still creating but in a different way. It always provides me with relaxation as well as a way for my mind to drift.
5. Each chocolate.
I don't think this needs much commentary. My downfall is often Mrs. Callender's French Silk Pie with the cookie crumb crust (because when I'm in the crazy, I'm in no mood to make my own chocolate, even though I have plenty of chocolate recipes!).