It may surprise you to learn that I enjoy a number of creative outlets that are NOT writing. I think this is probably common for writers; but in my case, there have been times when participating in another creative activity made me feel like I was wasting time that I could have been writing.
I have since changed my mind about that. That is to say, sometimes I still feel like I’m wasting time, but now I believe it’s actually necessary for me to utilize some alternative creative outlets once in awhile.
For one thing, doing something else that I enjoy helps me get a break from the constant ruminating on my writer’s block. When I’m stuck in one (or more) of my novels, I tend to dwell on the fact that I’m stuck. I haven’t figured out a formula for getting unstuck yet, but I firmly believe the beginning of getting unstuck lies in being able to forget that I’m stuck in the first place.
For another thing, doing something creative keeps the juices flowing so that when I do return to the writing, it doesn’t feel like my right brain just got back from hiatus. Certainly doing school lessons with my older kids and playing learning games with my younger kids can be quite the distraction, but it tends to take more left brain engagement. Yes, I do creative things with my kids too; we have music and art classes, the kids all love to listen to music and do crafts; I’m teaching two of my children piano. But those aren’t my creative outlets; that’s me directing their creative outlets, because it’s important to me that they learn to develop those interests and outlets.
So from time to time I might find myself doing something creative other than writing, and I’ve decided it’s important to remind myself that it’s okay and even necessary for me to allow these activities once in awhile. As long as, in the long run, they make my writing better.
Agree or disagree?