If you’re like me, you will understand the horror that is relaxation time.
I’ve been this way since college, and perhaps even before then – back through the end of high school. I want to be so productive that I cram my time chock full of different tasks and then neglect the time I need to recharge my creative mind and body.
It was a lot of work, and I’m not going to lie about struggling with it this past week, but I took a mental vacation for Thanksgiving, and it has done wonders for me. I didn’t write any pages. I didn’t research anything for my upcoming finale episode of The Entity. Instead I allowed myself to consume whatever I felt like. Whatever I wanted to watch or read, I grabbed that. Whatever I wanted to watch (Star Wars trailer!) I watched that. And coincidentally my house lost power the night before Thanksgiving, so I had plenty of time to just read and play a few games on my 3DS. (Thank-you batteries!)
Wouldn’t you know that I discovered a new anime that I am now addicted to? Yes, as hard as it is to believe, I had never seen One Piece until this past week, but I had heard of the series and read a few of the manga chapters in Weekly Shonen Jump. The story swept me away, making me forget that I wasn’t producing pages of writing or getting done work, and I actually enjoyed a story for the sake of enjoying a story. It’s a strange thing to talk about, but it is sometimes a struggle to simply experience a story without looking for plot points and character motivations. I might have even learned something.
I do know that this vacation has positively affected my creative juices because I was able to crank out a bunch of pages of story last night, and I also was able to complete the outline for Episode Six. Of course, there’s nothing miraculous about that. I’ve outlined and written all the previous Episodes the same way, except this time it took the small break for me to relax and just let the story tell itself. There was no pressure once I got started and the writing was so enjoyable. That’s the most that an author can hope for when they are in the midst of creating their story.
So, as the rush of the Christmas season descends upon us, don’t forget to take it easy on yourself once in a while. Your creative brain will thank you for it!
Now, back to the notebook…