Friday, May 10, 2013

The Importance of Not Writing and Literary Fitness

In my time away from the blog, I have had something of an epiphany.  It has been quite a long time since I last posted, and I apologize for that fact.  The Perfect Storm came together and wreaked havoc over my life for a couple weeks, but it has since dissipated and the sun shines once again.  A move, a health emergency, and technical difficulties all contributed to my absence.  I hadn't really realized how dependent I was on the internet until I was without it for ten days.  I hardly knew what to do with myself during the times I would normally be blogging or contributing to weekly writing prompts.  I actually reverted back to a notebook and pen for a week.  It was excruciating.

But enough excuses.  Onto the epiphany.  When the green light finally blinked at me on my modem, signaling I was once again connected digitally to that giant world wide web out there, I sat down and cranked out three thousand words-worth of stories, comments, and other public posts in about two hours.  It's such a wonderful feeling when the words just spill out of you, isn't it?  In all my excitement, I realized that taking some time away from the usual writing exercises had helped those creative juices to build up inside me until they poured out onto the page like literary kool-aid.

I have always believed that the writing mind is a muscle that needs to be exercised and toned just like any other muscle.  The same old boring workout, day after day, will keep it in shape.  I will always be able to write something, just as our muscles will always be able to perform average tasks like walking.  But the lesson I'm learning is that walking every single day for the rest of my life is boring.  Unless I take time out to absorb the world around me and let that creative kool-aid build up again, my writing muscles won't be able to do amazing things like yoga, kettle ball, or even that zumba thing I'm always hearing about.  (By the way, what the heck is zumba, anyway?)

Taking time away from the norm and letting current events sink in and marinate for a while is a good thing.  It helps us elevate our writing from the doldrums of "fine" and "nice".  I don't ever want my writing to be described as fine or nice.  That is boring, plain old vanilla, and vanilla is not what gets published.  I want to at least rise to Moose Tracks status.  (I apologize to all the vanilla lovers out there.  It's just not for me.)