Time for another Hi Susan and this time it’s Chris who asked…
You’ve mentioned your art and jewelry making, do you think having a creative hobby helps writers?
My simple answer is yes.
My not so simple answer is I’ve used lots of techniques to help me work out stories, brainstorm ideas, and sort out my messy plots.
I used to go for a walk and look at houses and think about the sort of people who lived in them. I also used to garden and as I planted things I’d think about new ideas for stories. It was my way of stepping away from the writing and recharging my batteries. Not really creative pursuits but they helped a lot.
Then a few years ago, I felt I needed another creative pursuit in my life besides writing. As I’ve always wanted to paint and draw that was the first thing I did, and the jewelry making came later. I’ve found that both of them help me get away from all the words I see day after day and aid me in getting into the writing zone.
Last year, I went through a couple of months where writing was the last thing I wanted to do. I feared I was going into another writing drought like I’d experienced after my dad died, but luckily I got through this rough patch. I’m not sure I could have done without the art.
I think there’s something painting and sketching where you’re basically creating a story with images that made me want to create with words again.
I don’t think you necessarily have to do something creative…you could go running or collect stamps or whatever. However, I think all writers need downtime so you don’t feel pressured into writing when you don’t feel like it. No one does their best work under those conditions.
So my recommendation, look for something you can do that might spark the muse, but at the same time, pick something you enjoy doing as much as your writing.