It's not always sunshine and rainbows, and it's not exactly easy being a creative person, although you probably already knew that. Sometimes I have my bad days too so I figured it was time to share some of the great coping methods I've learned. There's this great video, by one of my favourite, strong women of Youtube, and I'm sharing it with you, because it was a major inspiration for this list. I was having one of my "not so great" days and then it made my point of view slightly more positive:
1) Exercise Does Wonders:
I learned this one at a very young age. Time spent at the gym, going for a run, or even a leisurely stroll is really, really important for creative people. Well it's good for all people (period) but it's essential for creative people because it keeps us positive, and keeps the creative juices flowing, especially on the days when we're just sitting on our asses, waiting for the next project to come along. I'm an actor's daughter, and that largely influenced my belief in the power of exercise. When my dad's in waiting mode he goes to the local YMCA. Everytime he goes there he instantaneously go from restlessly waiting, to having a slightly more positive outlook on the uncertainty of the future. Over the years I watched my dad's YMCA routine have a positive effect on him, so many times in a row that I eventually started to believe that exercise is a crucial companion for creativity. As soon as I found myself occasionally experiencing what my dad sometimes goes through I started to run and walk a lot, and even if it's only an errand, or a coffee run to the local Starbucks, it always makes a huge difference.
2) Commit To Talking To Someone At Least Once A Day:
I mentioned this in my previous blog post but the reason why this is making a reappearance is because this needs to happen EVERY SINGLE Day
. A lot of writers are shy introverts, because you kind of have to have at least some introverted tendencies to not go insane, while spending hours alone with only your thoughts and a keyboard. Writers are so good at keeping ourselves busy, without involving other people, that we're constantly in serious danger of isolating ourselves from people, and not having an actual life outside of our writing, and our overall professional lives. This is extremely dangerous so spend minimum ten to fifteen minutes daily talking to someone you care about, and maybe even writing in a place where there's other people around. I find tools such as text messaging and Facebook Messenger helpful because you can have a brief conversation, without having to commit to a phone call, and you don't have to be there, in person, to talk to someone. If you're feeling lonely try Meetup.com, a place where you can find out about events and groups in your community, that cater to whatever your interests are; Friendship DNA is also a positive online community for platonic friendships, and if you're also single the online dating universe isn't nearly as scary as it seems. I also recommend going to your local community centre or library, and then signing up for a group or class you find appealing.
3) Don't Make Social Media Comparisons Based On The Success, Social Life, Or Love Life Of Others:
Social Media can be a helpful communication tool but it can also be dangerous when you're feeling bummed, and iffy about some aspect of your life. Sometimes it can be just plain depressing because people tend to put on a mask that makes them sound like they're not only extremely successful on a professional level but constantly having a really great time at parties and bar outings. It's also where people boast about their new job, new house, new car, new boyfriend or girlfriend, and post their wedding and baby pictures. Good for them, but they're probably not living as much of a fairytale, "perfect" life as you think they are. If you're having one of your bad days use social media in minimal moderation, or maybe even avoid it for a day or two, and take the "perfect life" charade that shows up on your news feed with a grain of salt.
4) Stop Comparing Yourself To Others:
Everyone is different, even the people walking the same path, with the same level of experience. Just because someone was the same age as you when they got their first book published, or has earned a certain number of bylines doesn't mean you're more or less successful. You are you, therefore you probably bring something to your work that no one else does, even if you don't realize it. Whenever my friends and loved ones freak out about not reaching a specific milestone yet I always tell them that life isn't a race, unless there's an 100% guarantee you'll die tomorrow, so slow down, and live your life your way, not someone else's way.
Well, that's all I've got for now! Have a good weekend everyone. Make sure to chill out and relax at least a little bit this weekend, because that's an important part of maintaining your sanity and keeping the creative juices flowing.