There you sit, in front of your computer after hammering out three articles in a row. And you lean back in your chair, reminding yourself next week your boss is going to be back in town.
You also realize you’ll have very little time during your lunch breaks at your JOB to write more articles for the coming week.
So you lean forward and place your hands on the keyboard and suddenly it hits you right between the eyes.
You realize your creative battery is dead, deceased, drained, pushing up daisies, kicked the bucket, six feet under, well, you get the idea.
Your head is mush and your eyes, oh Lordy, your eyelids are so heavy you could probably take a two-hour nap sitting up.
“How is this possible,” you ask yourself.
You were off for ten straight days for Christmas and New Year because the plant shut down for the holidays and inside that ten-day period, you wrote and published twenty-two pieces.
And now here you are only six days into the new year and you seem to be fighting to keep the flow going. It’s as if your measurable goal of writing and publishing two articles a day has reached up and smacked you in the face.
And you sit there, your heart aching, feeling empty inside, hardly able to process a single thought, much less an entire string of cohesive and relatable content.
You need to recharge your batteries, but you’ve got all these self-imposed targets to hit. Well, guess what?
If you continue to try operating on a dead battery, you will never hit those targets.
I’ve said this on more than one occasion. We writers are sometimes our own worst enemies. We push ourselves a lot of times, forcing ourselves to perform some of the most herculean efforts of binge writing the world has ever witnessed.
We get little sleep and even less nourishment of either body or brain as we double down and try to keep up a furious pace and maintain a constant creative edge.
And then we fall, and fall hard.
Lying on the mat staring up at the glimmering lights above, our brain continues to tell us, “I told you so. I told you we were about to run out of juice. All you had to do was take a few breaks along the way to recharge your battery but noooooo. You thought you knew better. You’re the writer you tell me. You know what you’re doing. Well, riddle me this Batman. How much writing are you gonna try when like the fool you are you let your battery die?”
Oh, it’s only me who has these kinds of conversations with myself?
Come on, really?
Pfsst, yeah right.
Learning how to recharge your batteries is not like riding a bicycle.
You always forget how.
We forget because learning to recharge the mind and body is simply not as instinctive as that balance thing your brain automatically learned to do when you hopped on that bike.
For many of us, we learned by rote. We learned we needed to depress the brake handle or push the pedals backward when we needed to stop.
I’m sure a lot of us probably learned by falling down and smashing into parked cars, but eventually, we learned.
But nobody ever taught us how to recognize the moment our mental and physical batteries were about to fizzle out and it was time to recharge. Worse, no one showed us how to even recharge when we needed to.
Step back a bit and recharge your mind.
Uh, how do I do that?
Give your soul and body the recharge it needs.
Uh, again, how the heck do I do that?
See what I mean? For most of us, not those fortunate few among the writing ranks who’ve learned how to do this very well, we simply don’t know what habits to establish, what routines we need to do to accomplish this mysterious recharge.
Okay, I dropped two clues in this previous sentence. Does someone want to tell me what they are?
Correct, habits and routines.
It’s just like the habits we creatives adopt in order to maintain our regular writing pace.
Part of that pace should include, no let me take that back, must include, either a daily, weekly, or monthly session of taking care of self, of recharging the battery so we can press on.
We need to stop making it so difficult for ourselves.
Teach yourself to:
- Step away from your writing for a minimum of two hours (daily if possible) and read a book.
- If you write heavily on the weekends as I do, then quit early on both Saturday and Sunday. Say around two-thirty or three in the afternoon and spend the rest of the day doing absolutely nothing but taking walks with your partner if the weather permits or sipping coffee or tea or your beverage de jour curled up in your favorite hideaway with one of your favorite writers.
- Read your favorite writers here if you must, but do not break the cardinal rule of trying to write something after you’ve just quit for the day.
- Sleep for God’s sake. I don’t mind admitting that I turn into a pumpkin around eight-thirty in the evening and normally I sleep until five AM. It doesn’t matter what the experts say about needing less sleep when you get older. I’ve been drooling on my pillow for eight and a half hours a night for years and I’m soon to be turning sixty-seven in a couple of months and I intend to keep on doing it.
- Listen to music (not while you’re writing another article) just for the joy of hearing the sweet sounds and melodies. Sing or dance along with the music like no one is watching.
- Cry if you feel like it. I know that sounds pretty weird, but sometimes the weight of things gets so heavy shedding a few tears has a way of releasing the burden.
- Make recharging your mind and your soul a priority and never, never, ever, put your passion to create above your physical and mental health.
These are just a few of the things you can do to ease the difficulties a lot of us experience when we create. Mind you, they are certainly not all-inclusive.
A ton of people in our writing community can serve up many more ways to recharge and a plethora of methods to help recognize when your physical and mental batteries are low.
Recharging needn’t be a task so difficult that no one can, or is willing, to perform it.
But without it, there is only so long we can go before our mental and physical batteries discharge completely.
Unfortunately, with the human mind and soul, it’s not as easy as locating the nearest charging station and simply plugging in.
Thanks for reading
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