If you’ll remember from my last post, this semester I made the wonderful decision to take two graduate-level English courses on top of my usual 9-5 job. This is apparently a very bad idea for someone who likes sleep, needs to write creatively in order to keep sane, and also happens to be an extroverted leech who gets her energy by draining the life-force of all of her introverted friends.
So, I thought I’d provide y’all with a list of how I feed my starving creative soul when, a) I’m dead tired and can’t bring up the mental brainpower to work on any of my serious creative writing projects, and, b) I’ll go mad if I don’t interact with people who aren’t my coworkers or some wandering freshmen looking for directions.
- Do Something Else Creative
Okay, so depending on what you define as “creative,” this one won’t necessarily involve interacting with other people. For instance, I’ve recently discovered that for some reason, rearranging songs on my playlists satisfies that creative itch.
This may be because I’m weird. When my roommate makes a playlist, she’ll take a bunch of songs she likes—let’s take animated musicals, for example—and simply group them according to content: The Lion King’s “Be Prepared” goes next to Anastasia’s “In the Dark of the Night,” on her mix.
I, on the other hand, largely order my playlist according to ear (does one song flow nicely into the next?) and according to whether or not the list of songs I’ve gathered from a bunch of different sources can be pieced together into an entirely new story.
Of course, you could also go to the local West Coast Swing night in order to get your creative juices flowing. That way you’ll also interact with other people.
- Go to a Writer’s Group
Going to a writer’s group easily fulfills my extroverted requirements, while also helping me expel that suppressed creative energy. I get to be social and interact with a bunch of people (okay, maybe like 10) who like crafting stories just about as much as I do, and as an added bonus, I’m also able to get some much-needed feedback on my work.
Win-win, in my opinion.
Writer’s groups are awesome in general, really. If you’re serious about writing, it’s important that you find a community of writers that can give you feedback and help keep you accountable. A new set of eyes can see things that you’ve missed, or present a new avenue to explore in your work. They can also help you shake off that pesky writer’s block, too.
- Play Dungeons & Dragons
I’ll be honest, for the longest time, I associated Dungeons & Dragons with the uber-nerds and the cultists. Let me just say this now, though: it’s freaking awesome. So far, our campaign has only spanned three sessions (of which I was only able to attend two), but from what I can tell, it’s going to be just as fun and rewarding as going to a writer’s group.
I guess it depends on how much the members of your campaign actually get into the story aspect of the game, but D&D feels a lot like an Elder Scrolls video game to me, except you’re actually interacting with real-life people instead of NPCs (albeit real people role-playing fake characters). Sure, you roll dice to determine the outcome of just about every chance-based action, but you also interact with the unique creations of the other members of your campaign.
I get that social aspect that I’m craving at the end of a long work day, and I get to play out a story. Don’t believe me yet? Try it out! It can make for some of the most entertaining couple of hours of your day.
So, now that I’ve rambled on about my weird playlist habits and my venture over to the “dark side” of D&D, what do you all do to keep sane when you’re swamped with work?