Yes, I do mean you. And me, of course. I’m writing about giving yourself down time, thinking time, chilling time. Time when you don’t have to meet a deadline, real or self-imposed. Time when you can just be. Time when you can step away. Time to stop busy busy.
Because if we don’t stop for a moment, and take stock- how can we see what is important?
Going for a walk is a good way to start the ‘being’ process. Or a run, or a ride. Method is not important. Taking the strain off the brain- more easily achieved when the body is otherwise occupied- is what allows the creativity to return when the juices have all dried up, and in my case, withered and fallen off.
I’ve blogged before about left-side / right side brain activity, and how the logical, task-driven left side will not stop working until the tasks are done. But the tasks are never done, are they, dammit? And keeping a lid on the creative side of the brain dulls us, dulls our lives, dulls our perceptions, dulls our ability to be inspired or inspiring.
So take a little time off just for you. No excuses. You don’t need to seek permission from yourself to recharge. Go look at a snowdrop and see perseverance against huge odds, watch starlings fly in magical murmurations in an evening sky, stare at the universe of stars and wonder.
Then, an hour, or a day later, come back and see if the words flow more freely.
When I’m refreshed, the ideas wander in like stray cats when a door is left open, uninvited but welcome. They challenge me to re-write, to re-structure, to be brave, to try something new. I need the time away from ‘real’ life to free me to do what I love to do – writing.