Relaxing with Writing

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Full confession:  I get irritable and depressed if I go for 3 days without writing.  It doesn’t have to be much.  A few notes about a character or idea.  Maybe outlining a chapter or two when I have a few minutes.  Just whatever I need to keep the imagination sharp and the creative juices flowing.  This is one of the reasons why I have 30+ ideas spread out across large piles of notebooks.  When you’re working other jobs, you end up using your lunch time to get the ideas out.

Still, it seems like adulthood is very anti-creativity unless you already have the right job or enough money to muck around with life.  The stress and worry builds up a lot to the point where you might begin to fear that your imagination is seeping away.  At least, that’s something that has happened to me a lot.  One of the reasons I outline and plan so much is because it helps assure me that I haven’t lost the spark.  That love of crafting a world that I can draw people into and give them the sense of escape that I had when writing every word of the book.  When I write, I go on the adventure alongside my characters and this is an experience I always hope to share.  Yet, I always have this fear that I might wake up one day and lose the ability.

I might be getting off topic, but there was a moment many years ago where I hit such a darkness that I couldn’t write any more.  I don’t even remember how long it lasted or exactly how I got out of it.  I can only recall two things.  One was that it was a frightening experience for me.  It made me think my entire life up to that point was a waste and that reality had robbed me of something special.  The other is that I used notes and outlines to help start the recovery.  Not sure if they jogged things back into place or came afterwards, but they were part of it.  So, I take these activities very seriously because they have become my tether to my imagination when I can’t do full books.

One reason I bring this up is because I’ve had several moments this year where I fear that I’m about to go back into that abyss.  Stress has been high and I’ve felt like my entire support system has decided to step out from beneath me.  It’s hard to continue going when you get daily mentions of how you’re walking a flawed path, money issues, and all around shame at being associated with you.  Yeah, this post is taking a dark turn, but some people have made it clear that they never wanted me to succeed in the first place.  So, I’m a little bitter during the writing here.  My point is that even the tried and true outlines that keep me going can lose some of their power.  Writing is my mediation and it is getting muddied by negativity.

So, how much peace and tranquility do you get from writing?  Is it a job, a calling, or a lifestyle for you?  I’ll fully admit that I’m a combo of 2 and 3.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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27 Responses to Relaxing with Writing

  1. I’d say two and three for me. It’s relaxing, and invigorating at the same time. It exercises my brain in a way nothing else can.

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  2. I can’t imagine going a day without writing. Your experience sent chills up my spine. Also to be surrounded by unsupportive people is hell.

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  3. I understand what you have written here, Charles. I also think the stress of work can diminish your creativity and when I am very stressed at work, I also sometimes feel like I can’t write. Your idea is good. I am sorry about the lack of support you are experiencing.

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    • Being a TA, I’m hoping that things will go the other way. Kids can be fairy inspiring and I don’t think I’m going to be as stressed as I thought. At least once I get the hang of things. Really wish the support situation wasn’t around though.

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  4. I can relate to everything you’ve said. Writing is vital for me, especially when life fills up with problems – it allows me to escape to a world I can control.

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  5. L. Marie says:

    Oh man, Charles. I’m sorry you went through that and have experienced a lack of support. I’ve certainly been there. I wish the people in your life could understand that the ability to write is a gift. It’s one that I at times discount due to a lack of support in my own life. But I’m returning to the understanding that writing is necessary for me. At one point, I went three years without writing anything. Three years of silence due to depression and rejection. Three painful years. I wouldn’t wish that on you. I’m glad you’re continuing to outline and write.

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  6. Your first line about how you get depressed if you go more than 3 days is totally me! And I can relate to naysayers. For me what I’ve come to terms with is anytime anyone is angry, it’s about them, not me. And I don’t have to participate. Writing is how we make sense of the world, express ourselves and breathe life. Not everybody understands that. Usually the naysayers have expectations of us and want us to caretake them so they don’t have to confront scary things. I’m responsible for me and my kid, that’s it. Even our partners aren’t our responsibility. Go into the bubble and you’ll be fine.

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  7. Excuse the double negative, but I can’t not write. Not for long anyhow. This year has been a bad one, where my writing time has been severely limited due to dealing with other stuff while health issues are causing problems, and it’s driving me crazy.

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  8. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Check out this thought-provoking post from Charles Yallowitz with the topic of Relaxing with Writing

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  9. C.E.Robinson says:

    1, 2 and 3 for me, Charles! And I structure my writing with an outline. It keeps me on track and going forward. It’s a given life gets in the way. I’m just lucky. Maybe retirement helped. Maybe a lifelong attitude of get things done helped. Maybe I have naysayers in my life that I don’t know about, yet. I won’t matter, it’s their problem not mine. I feel very sad when I read you and others are having a bad writing spree. Keep writing, Charles. A notebook to outline and capture creative thoughts while on the job is a great idea! Happy Thanksgiving. Christine

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  10. For me, it’s very hard to write if I’m too stressed. Which is probably like “duh, no kidding.” But rather than look for relaxation in writing, I seek DIStraction. I stop thinking about my problems and focus on the writing.

    I do have a day job, so it isn’t a job like that. But I always have a story to work on and maybe that makes it more of an identity?

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  11. Clark Ellis says:

    Writing is always a calling. At times it’s a job, and at the best times it’s a lifestyle, and I’ve found that if the calling is ignored it becomes an itch.

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