A Life Outside The Pen

Yesterday’s prompt asks, what do you do when you’re not writing? How do you reset your internal typewriter?

A lot of times, when I’m not actively writing something, I’m thinking of what to write. Either I’m coming up with a story idea, or trying to flesh out a concept into a full-blown story. Sometimes, I’ll find myself stuck for words and spend some time thinking about how I want to portray my scene or my characters. And of course, the best way to get ideas (for fiction, at least) is to consume more fiction.

I’m not as voracious a reader as I once was, unfortunately, limited to about a half hour of reading a day so it doesn’t take over my schedule. I miss the days of my childhood, when I could just lounge with a book for hours and not have to worry about any other responsibilities. But I still enjoy reading a lot, and have a particular fondness for anthologies and short story collections. They offer a solid variety in bite-sized portions, and I find they have more value as I can always find at least a couple of stories that I like, whereas if a novel’s bad, that’s an entire book wasted.

More of my time nowadays is spent watching movies, playing video games (well, that’s another infrequent one), drawing and generating story ideas. If anything, drawing’s probably my favorite activity next to writing; at one time, I was much more of an artist than a writer. Well, I’m more of a cartoonist, really. Alright, a doodler. But I still enjoy it.

I’ve also got a fairly steady workout routine going, which keeps me active and provides a nice break from everything else. And when all other options are exhausted, there’s sleep. I’ll never say no to sleep. And now that I think of it, I could probably write a story or two based off weird dreams I’ve had.

But really, writing is my relaxation tool now. When there’s too much stress or worry to deal with, I can always step into another world and begin populating it, creating a history and a future for it.

Or I could sleep. Sleep is good.


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