21 May

Scheduling Escape - Feed the Writer Soul...


Those of you who've never met me in person have no idea that when I'm in work-mode, I channel a mélange of General Patton and General MacArthur. Yes, I'm a brazen battleaxe.
In university, if you bothered me while I was cramming, I'd chase you down the Rez hall with a used curling broom... no, not the soft ones you see today, the witch-on-broom itchy, scratchy, hard-as-heck type broom. My first year on Rez, I was humorously awarded the Miss Congeniality prize for my floor. Yep, I'm a keeper!
But even I knew when I had to vent steam... I'd play as hard as I worked... 
On my second year on Rez, my floor mates laid a pillow at the side door, and tacked a sign above, "Don't remove. Barbie's Pass Out Pillow." It got regular use. One night, while hosed, I couldn't find my way to the Dining Hall - I figured eating something might be wise - so my totally blind floor mate guided me there. Yes. It took a blind girl to guide me to nourishment. 
Did I mention I'm of North Irish descent and can't hold my liquor?
Yeppers, still a keeper!
Those pathetic visuals above are to demonstrate that even a hard worker needs to escape now and then. No, I didn't become an alcoholic, but I may play one on TV.  :-) 
Disclaimer: don't do what I did. Baaad. Seriously baaad. 
Plan your escape. 
Hopefully with far less embarrassing results than I experienced in the '80s.
Take an evening and decide it'll be for pure escape, to not consciously think on your WIP - Work in Progress - but to laugh and play, and just gleefully be.
During the pandemic, for me, it's been Thursday night comedy TV shows, one after another, eliciting non-stop giggles. My regular TV time usually involves heavy subjects on history and politics and war. But not on Thursdays. That's chuckle night... free of guilt, joyfully spent, because I know I've earned it. I've stuck to my writing schedule all work week, and have definitely earned a break.
Escaping without earning an escape is fraught with guilt. You won't realize it as you run away and have fun, but when the fun ends, that escape will turn out to be a negative experience, which will leave you feeling more writer-despondent than when you began. 
So, in your present struggle to write, don't forget to vent the stress steam.
Do it in moderation.
Do it for one night a week.
Do it for the sheer fun of it. 
Let your sub-conscious ruminate on your WIP. Your writer soul will thank you.
P.S. No, I have no idea where my curling broom and my pass-out pillow ended up. They may be displayed in the Smithsonian museum, on the Dastardly Drunkards Disaster floor. ;-)

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