Writing Tip #15

Get a hobby.

Do something – anything – other than write. It doesn’t really matter what it is. If all you ever do is write, you will lose your mind. Writing is like being on fire. It will consume you in such a way that your words will explode in a sudden, flaring passion and then burn out. Ash.

When I was at a flash fiction group last night, an older gentleman who has become a new member of our crew asked me what I do in my free time.

In a horrified whisper, I gasped, “What free time?”

I tried to explain that between writing (60 hours a month, roughly 15 hours a week ideally) and working (40 hours a week at a major Medicare company — no, no, I assure you, it’s notthatinteresting) I don’t have much free time. It was one of the most terrifying conversations I’ve had in a long time.

I think that’s why I took another look at my bucket list. That’s why I decided next week to start running. The weather up here in Pennsylvania is unseasonably warm and pleasant. I want to get out a bit.

Having something else to do gives you a break. It allows you to get your butt away from your desk, to have something else to work on. It puts out the fire, hides the matches, makes you go outside. Be around people, if you can stand them.

It’s okay. You and your writing are in an open relationship. It doesn’t mind that you sneak out with that cupcake mix or that shady sketchpad. It wants some time away from you too.

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