It takes mental training to strengthen focusing abilities of many people and that kinda sucks! If I can’t sit and push out a chapter, or a page, of good quality in one sitting during a quarantine, then what can I do during breaks to refresh my thought process and desire to write? How long will it take?
If you’ve ever had any thoughts like this, I can help you find answers. Starting with the second question; recharging breaks can take as little as a few minutes. YAAAY! The lesson that is recurrent in my life applies here; listen to your body. If it seems as though you are facing writer’s block, or a general long lasting funk, there is likely a reason, and it often goes beyond material quality.
When my brain want’s to avoid writing and I pull it along like dead weight while I am witty and happy in other situations, [even cleaning the toilet!] (gasp!!) The way I have luck fixing my process is by taking apart the pieces of it until I see the piece that needs oiling or changing. Has my space changed? Am I lonely/depressed does the topic of my writing bring up unaddressed emotions? Am I sick physically? Etc….. Some blocks are easier to fix and clear than others and there is no one write way (see what I did there? I hope it makes you 😀 )
Now if your in need an everyday type of break to recharge, I have a solid approach beginning with the same step every time: create distance. For me that means whatever I do to recharge I don’t do it with my laptop. Whatever your main place is to put your story ideas get away from it; when at my laptop I am in writer mode, even on Twitter. You can use your phone for internet if you want to do that. But, even then, on a break where I intend to return to a project the same day, I try to escape the screens until I am satisfied with my writing for the day. – Our brains are unconsciously cued by environment.
Read books I’m interested in (legal books/ Linguistics books/ neurobiology/science of mental health and autobiography are my jam!)
Listen to music and sing along shamelessly (Shania Twain is my musician of choice followed by P!nk do not try and tease me over it, That Don’t Impress Me Much! I’ve learned to tune out negativity about music!) DO YOUR THING!
Doodle/Color- I love doodling because I change my focus from words to imagery and color and the process is less in my head. Since I am creating a visual image I focus on different details than those I do in prose.
If, when you return to writing, you have trouble picking up at the start try using another format (For example, poetry has many sub-formats to choose from). Talking knots out verbally can also help.
Do you take breaks while writing? How can you tell When you need one? What do you do to entertain yourself during a break? Maybe you’ve thought of something I haven’t! Please comment and tell me your method.
See you soon,