Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Playing Around

As a writer, I carry my work with me everywhere, because quite simply, I refuse to detach my head from the rest of me. I know. That’s horrible of me. But I’m terribly afraid of misplacing it, and if I should lose it, a replacement would be rather hard to acquire.

The consequence is that my work tends to intrude on life. The voices in my head get great pleasure out of commentating on real conversations. The perfect turn of phrase will form as I’m driving down the road, and my mind often is unraveling that complicated plot twist in the middle of work. And that is assuming that there is something else I have to be doing. If I’m at home, I am usually in the middle of another world through reading or writing, and once I’m there—well, let’s say I can get a bit cranky with too many interruptions.

But while I like staying in the world I can control, I far too often forget controlling that world takes energy. I need time away. I need to recharge. I burn out if I don’t. The problem is that activities not directly related to my writing often seems frivolous, a waste of time—especially since my writing does not earn an income yet either.

Therefore, one of my New Year’s goals was to play more. So what does a writer like me do to play?

As expected, other creative activities have great appeal, since creativity can feed creativity. Music, both playing and listening to it, has been a big part of my life in the past. So with a Christmas gift of an MP3 player, I’m trying to reincorporate some of that music into my world. My tactile arts—weaving, spinning, crochet, sewing, cross-stitch—are also an enjoyable change from the intangible, imaginary realms I usually work with.

But of late, I’m finding activities opposite from my normal are also relaxing and invigorating. I like the physical interaction of Wii Play. Myst computer games exercise my logic and problem-solving. Even cleaning house and classifying books at the church library have become enjoyable. (Okay, enjoyable for housecleaning might be a bit strong, but still...) And of course, yakking with friends over a meal roots me in the real world again.

So what do you do for play? Maybe I’ll find myself a new hobby.

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