Write every day, but don’t put your life on hold…
— Vincent Mars, “Writing as a Way of Life“
I have been wondering lately if writing here hasn’t taken up just a bit more time than it should. I haven’t really been doing much else and I don’t think that is healthy, or any good for my writing in the long run. I have to step away more often and do other things so I can come back with a fresh perspective and tons of inspiration. I have to make sure to keep things in balance.
So what do I do when I’m not writing.
Every writer has to read, that is the number one rule of good writing. Honestly I have never really met anyone who liked to write that didn’t like to read too. I haven’t read nearly as many books as I wanted to so far this year but I have been reading more literary journals and magazines. I’m into flash nonfiction right now so that’s what I read. I love New Philosopher magazine and the Black Warrior Review.
I already feel like I need a change though and I imagine I will be back to fiction (and maybe writing some fiction) very soon
Usually I would tell people to stay away from such a time suck but I have learned that YouTube has some very interesting, informative, and educational channels. I watch them while I write and I watch them when I don’t know what to write about, YouTube Always helps. My favorite channels are The School of Life, Vice, Nerdwriter, and TED. I follow a bunch more but these are the ones I check everyday.
I’m new to the whole podcast thing. I thought they were all stupid until I found Joe Rogan’s podcast. A friend recommended it and I finally listened so he’d stop bugging me. I expected to hate it but it was actually very good! I listened to him while doing the dishes, a chore I hate. Then I started listening to other podcasts through Soundcloud and Stitcher, A few of my favorites are The Partially Examined Life, On Being, and Mortified. I listen to them as often as I can, downtime at work or out walking the dog.
I try to walk as much as I can. I don’t think it’s the best excersise but it’s better than nothing. I figure as long as I get up and move at least once an hour or so I am doing better than most. I like that my phone comes with S Health, an app that helps me track how many steps I’ve taken. I also have Google Fit another fitness app that tracks that amount of time I am active. I try to walk for an hour a day. Not all at once, but broken up between a lunch break walk, and walking the dog a few times a day.
I think it’s a good thing to do something where mind can wander. If I’m sitting it usually means I am doing something I have to focus on. If you are up and moving there is no particular thing your mind has to do.
Brains need breaks too.
I don’t watch a ton of movies but I like getting out and going to a theater and focusing on a film for two hours with no distractions. I think it’s important as a writer to study other mediums of art and expression. You can gain inspiration that you wouldn’t think. I tend to like movies that are witty, that make you think, and are subtle in their humor, preferably with an “indie” feel. I like Wes Anderson, I like Tarantino, and I like the Coen Brothers. I know, how very hipster of me, right?
I also watch a ton of documentaries, I’m currently getting through all three volumes of Human on Youtube.
I want to make art even though between all my other activities I have no time for it. Soon I hope I will though. In the mean time I like to collect art and inspiration in places like Tumblr and Pinterest. I like anything that has emotion to it and good design.
I wish I could have known da Vinci or asked Jacques-Louis David about his painting “The Death of Socrates“. I love the iconic Frida Kahlo and I love the easily recognizable Audrey Kawasaki. I like the comic book artist Jae Lee and the elusive Chiara Bautista, who’s “characters and their ongoing stories are made as gifts for people I love”.
I love all art!
Time with Friends
My friends have similar interest to me. We like to discuss philosophy and movies and art and books. We also have some different interests and ideas about right and wrong and funny or not funny. We get along well and we debate often. Talking with them get the wheels turning and ideas flowing. They are good friends, supportive but not perfect. Sometimes our debates get out of hand but we always let it go. We try to learn from each other.
My activities outside of writing aren’t the most exciting but I do feel they feed the muse and give me a well of information and inspiration to pull from when it is time to get back to work. I think I will spend more time on them going forward because while I should write often, I should also live my life too. I should cultivate my other interests and let them compliment my writing.
In response to Daily Post’s Blogging U. course, Writing 101 assignment: Writing and not writing