Sin #25: Not getting enough rest
“Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing.” (Meg Chittenden)
As much as we love to lock ourselves away and type in the dark, we should never forget how important a bit of down time can be – and a good snooze!
In terms of our working environment writers are pretty much happy anywhere, we might have places we feel more comfortable but generally you can just give us a pencil and some paper and we’ll crack on with a bit of work. The trouble is writing is a solitary task and usually entails us crammed in some small space tapping away at the keyboard with our world blinders on.
Tut, tut, tut.
The world can be a very inspirational place, and because we want our books to be full of realism, visual wonders and unique anecdotes it doesn’t hurt to go out into the real world once in a while and soak up some new ideas.
Most writers can’t help but overhear conversations and notice the odd little things that most people might miss. We’re notoriously nosey and constantly curious, storing away bits of information or funny stories for later. So taking some time off from writing can be very beneficial to your work, it fills up those notebooks you should have with you at all times! And it shows us things we might never have thought of otherwise – an oddly worded piece of dialogue or an amazing setting we just HAVE to have in our next story.
The same goes for getting plenty of rest! Some of my best, and most horrific, ideas have come from dreams (mostly nightmares). The strange and wonderful ideas our brains come up with when we sleep are the richest and most unique you will ever come across. Of course remembering these might not be an easy task! Try keeping a notebook ready at the side of your bed, with a small torch, so you can sketch down useful stuff even in the middle of the night.
The best advice I can offer regarding using real life as inspiration is ALWAYS carry a notepad with you. If you don’t have a handbag, a man bag, or MC Hammer sized trousers you can always find a teeny tiny notebook that will fit into the smallest of pockets. It doesn’t need to be huge, just big enough to jot down flashes of inspiration that will spark into full blown ideas later.
So get out there and enjoy yourself! Don’t forget to grab your pen and paper and always, always, always be on the look out for ideas or flashes. And don’t forget to have fun! There aren’t many jobs out there where a walk in the woods, a trip to a theme park and a BBQ at a friend’s house can be classed as research during work time!
On a side note this is my 100th post! Quality timing with the end of the A-Z challenge!