Always make time to recharge your batteries…

November 13, 2011 § 8 Comments

Sound advice we should follow as writers.  Our constant use of brain energy and visualization can burn us out quickly.  Not to mention the meeting of deadlines and the sacrifices it takes to achieve those goals.  One week was especially busy for me editing a script, rewriting my TV pilot, preparing for meetings, and drafting a pitch for a producer to take into a network.  It’s been mentally exhausting and my noisy mind is getting too loud and the gears are grinding to a halt. I’m lucky to be aware of my situation and my need for a slight break after I completed my work.

I took much-needed breaks and read, watched movies and went out on my run.  The run still represents the journey and the ability to keep a commitment with myself.  It also helped in a physical way, but I also needed just to vegetate and not think about anything — especially my current projects.  I knew exactly what to do, I popped some corn and went on a Bogart tear watching The Maltese Falcon, To Have and Have Not, and The Treasure of Sierra Madre.  All were great films that inspired me to do better work.

In addition to relaxing, it’s also homework to further expose yourself to the great filmmakers of cinema.  You can study where they succeeded and failed in various projects. The key to a stable and healthy creative mind is being aware of the creative lows and doing your best to recharge your creative batteries as you slip into this dangerous place. If you get stuck in the creative lows, they can make you procrastinate and avoid getting to work on your next project because you’re fresh out of ideas. Avoid this soul-sucking place by immersing yourself in other artist’s works for inspiration. When you recharge your creative batteries you’ll fill your well and will be ready to start your next magnum opus.  Catch up on movies or TV shows that you’ve always wanted to see and study. I’ve recently been on a western movie tear and have watched nearly a dozen classics of the genre. I watched a masterpiece that was brought to my attention and its story structure was an inspiration. The film energized me to work on my old action spec that I’ve been tinkering with over the years. Recharge your batteries by listening to music or attending a concert, poetry reading, art exhibit or museum, sketch or paint, seek out local architecture, do something creative to breathe fresh life into your own work and feed your creative soul.

When you take your much needed break from writing, it’s okay to do something completely different to stimulate your mind and recharge your creative batteries.  Who knows, maybe you’ll be like me and inspired or influenced by something and it will energize your creativity when you get back to your work.

You’ll thank yourself the following week as you find yourself deep into meetings and deadlines, but now with a fresh perspective and a renewed sense of purpose.

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” — John Lubbock

“Fame and money are gifts given to us only after we have gifted the world with our best, our lonely, our individual truths.”—Ray Bradbury

“Just do the best you can every time.  And if you’re going to stay in the movies, and you like movies—and I love them—you’d better love them a lot, because it’s going to take all of your time.  If you want to be in the movies, it’s going to break your heart.”—director Richard Brooks

“You have to have a dream so you can get up in the morning.” – Billy Wilder

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