To Be a Better Writer: Go Outside!
The dark returns. Daylight Savings "falls back," and suddenly I go to work and come home in the dark.
This is the time of year when I end up staring at a screen for a lot longer than I intend. Hours tick by, and I've wasted time on another episode of Alias or what color I want to dye my hair. It's not writer's block, but another, more insidious challenge: the writer's blahs. I need something fresh and bright. I need more color, and maybe on a physiological level, more light. The words on the page seem heavy and dare I say it, uninspired!
So what I do?
I do the same thing I tell my kids to do, when their faces grow long and uninspired. When they wear a blank, bored look.
I go outside!
I breath fresh air and climb the hills behind my house. I look for bright yellow leaves or pretty red ones. I dip my fingertips in the freezing stream. I run down the long hill behind my house screaming loudly so that people turn around and look to see what's wrong.
Then I go back inside and write.
The felt experience is the best medicine for blahs. If you live in the city, go walk on hard concrete and smell coffee or garbage in the sewer. Anything to remind yourself of being alive and that being alive is good, even awesome.
Then get back to your studio or desk or wherever it is you create and bring that awesome back to the page.
If you feel inspired, shoot me and email and tell me what you do when the days are long and the work feels endless. Or just ask for a little vote of confidence, I'm happy to send one.
Coranna Adams is a writer, filmmaker, and educator from Asheville, North Carolina.