Thursday, October 25, 2012

Get Out Of The House


- Get Out Of The House

There’s a very good reason for the ‘introverted writer’ cliché. Writing is a lonely pursuit and those who love to be around other people tend to find they can’t stomach the long hours of solitude. Writing is about being in one’s head and career writers are always bemoaning the endless search for silence and peace.

Often, getting out of the house is the last thing on a writer’s mind—unless it’s to find a quiet library or cafe to tap away on the keyboard.

However despite our great love for books, and sometimes movies and TV shows—all beautiful worlds, created by other writers in their quiet, writing places—the brain needs more than sweeping narrative and unforgettable characters to create. The brain needs to go beyond the screen or page or imagination. The brain NEEDS reality.

For those of you who find the idea of going out to a loud concert or nightclub as appealing as being drawn and quartered, relax. Getting out of the house doesn’t have to mean being around people. It can mean going to a park or gallery, going hiking somewhere quiet but inspiring, visiting the beach at dawn, visiting the cemetery at sunset.

Wherever you go, being out in the world, experiencing the smells, tastes, weather and sounds—rather than just reading about them—wakes up the creative parts of your brain and refreshes them. Meeting up with friends for a quiet drink or meal is great too. You don’t need a whole crowd. One friend who is great at conversation is probably a much more invigorating way to spend the afternoon.

I don’t care what you do, as long as you do it and as long as it’s different to your usual schedule. Because if you don’t, your writing will stagnate. It may not slow in volume, but it will slowly degrade in quality.