Regeneration (for writers)

Posted: April 10, 2013 in General
Tags: , , , , ,

Unless you’re a Time Lord, this has nothing to do with changing your face and suddenly having a hankering for fish sticks and custard.

As I’ve said before, I’m the type of person that like to have a full plate. I like being busy. But every once in a while, we have to recharge our batteries.

This is easier said than done.

I don’t like slowing down. I don’t like relaxing. And I don’t like doing one thing at a time.

It’s actually hard for me to just stop and do nothing. To not multi-task. To not plan out my day in a myriad of lists and deadlines.

But it’s also difficult to do this day in and day out. There are some things I do to wake myself up, wipe the slate clean, and have a clearer head when I get back to work. They are:

  1. Sleep. There’s nothing like taking a good nap or actually getting eight hours of shut-eye. You feel 100% better when you’re on a full night’s rest, and it allows your brain to function much quicker. Plus, you won’t be nodding off at the computer every five minutes.
  2. Shower. This always wakes me up and makes me feel like the whole day is ahead of me. It’s refreshing and relaxing and comforting. Plus, I always do my best thinking in the shower.
  3. Exercise. Whenever I’m super tired, but I know have a lot more to do, I’ll go exercise. There’s nothing like getting that adrenaline pumping to wake you up and make you feel better. However, I always get that inevitable crash once my body returns to normal. Therefore…
  4. Eat. I don’t know about you, but I sometimes forget to eat during the day. I’ll realize I’m hungry, but I also want to finish what I’m working on. Hours will go by before I realize I still haven’t eaten lunch. I always get hungry after I exercise too, so I try to take in a light snack or a healthy lunch. It gives your body nutrients and energy to keep going. I always feel more awake after I’ve eaten.
  5. YouTube. Some would say this is procrastination. And maybe it is, but it’s also motivation. If I’m editing something that doesn’t interest me at all, I find that I’m more likely to scroll through Facebook or check Twitter or do a hundred other things that have nothing to do with the project I need to work on at the moment. And there’s no set time on that, because you can get lost down those time-wasting avenues. Instead, I pull up some Whose Line is it Anyway? on YouTube and play one scene from one episode. Once I’m done with that, I edit five or 10 more pages. Then I play the next scene. It helps me to get through the work a lot quicker, and there’s a set time I “waste” between those chunks of pages – usually only a couple of minutes. It’s a reward system that doesn’t involve food, which is a habit I seriously need to break. (But, man, I don’t know what I’m going to do when I finish all eight seasons of Whose Line on YouTube.)

This is just what works for me, and I’m always looking for some new ideas. I tend to do #1 the least, and not often by choice. It’s unfortunate that the other solutions are just quick-fixes, but a more permanent relaxation is tough when you have a full schedule.

What sorts of things to you do to stay motivated and rejuvenate your body?

  1. Julie Glover says:

    Okay…confession time. I recently found that I got a real boost from doing this during my writing breaks: Grab iPod and put on headphones; clear the living room rug area; turn on a groovin’ song; let loose by singing at the top of my lungs and dancing like I’m on a disco-ball-lit floor. Would I be embarrassed if anyone saw me? Oh yeah, I’d be appalled. But does it give me some added energy in less than five minutes? Definitely.

    Give it a shot, Karen. You never know. 🙂

    • Karen Rought says:

      I absolutely do this too, Julie. Except I don’t even contain it to the living room. I usually run around the house dancing and jumping all over the place. It TOTALLY works, and it’s a nice quick way to get your heartbeat up too. Once of my favorite albums to put on is the soundtrack from the Disney movie Hercules, because MAN can those muses sing!

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