Recharging the Writer’s Brain

Posted at Sep 18, 2013 8:19 am in , , ,

Books_and_wineI recently finished another manuscript and sent it off to my critique group for vilification, er, constructive criticism. Of course, as soon as I hit “send” I started tweaking it even more, then told myself to cease and desist. The best thing for me is to let it go and not think about it. I need to let my creative subconscious recharge its batteries. Writing a novel is like running a marathon, interspersed with running sprints, at least for me. I love it but it exhausts me, and in order to be rejuvenated for upcoming edits, I need to build up some reserves. Which is code for reading great books and watching movies.

When I’m writing I usually don’t have time to read other novels, but I’ve become an audio book junkie, feeding my story jones during my daily commute, so at least there’s some storytelling (besides my own) happening while I’m drafting.

Between completed manuscripts I’m like a junkie, devouring books that have piled up on my “to read” list. Some are new releases burning up the blogosphere, some are fairly recent releases by my favorite authors, and some are older books I never got around to.

And somehow, in a weird, mystical subconscious process I’ll never understand, I trust that my brain is playing with my next book idea. I’ve given my subconscious just enough info to play with, and I know that when I turn my writer brain back on, I’ll be surprised and excited to see what it’s come up with.

Meanwhile, I’m stalking the library, and bookstores, and Amazon, and Netlflix, and generally gorging on stories. With a little wine on the side.

What do you do to recharge your batteries between creative jags?


6 responses to “Recharging the Writer’s Brain”

  1. I totally agree on the cease and desist! The tweaking has got to stop! 😉 I read constantly, and like you, have a reading pile that contains old and new material, and a lot of books on craft. I’ll be at RMFW this weekend… see you there!

  2. Pam Mingle says:

    If I can get away (and can afford it), a trip is really rejuvenating. Especially a walking trip. Beautiful scenery, good company, a pint at the end of the road!

  3. I hear you on the tweaking; it has to stop at some point. 🙂 To recharge, I also love to read novels, or nonfiction magazines, watch movies and documentaries, go for walks or bike rides with my dog, bird watch, write haiku, knit, or do a few angel card readings. I also love to tinker around on Pinterest, play around with different templates and color schemes for my blog–love that creative outlet; it’s like a digital canvas and paints. When I’m feeling particularly low on energy, a nice epsom salt bath really helps, too. 🙂

    • Lisa says:

      Those are all wonderful ideas, Gisele! I used to knit but haven’t in ages. Still have all my fabulous yarn and needles though, and hope to return to it some day. And haiku! I like to write silly haiku about my pets.

      Getting outside and reconnecting with nature is really important. I’m lucky to live in a beautiful state and just walking out my front door I see blue sky and mountains, but I don’t take advantage of that often enough. I think we writers sit too much…kind of a job hazard…so getting active is a great way to recharge.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting 🙂

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