The Pause in the Music: Writing and not Writing

Day 11: WordPress Writing 101, September 22 2015

Writing and not Writing:

Being active every day makes it easier to hear that inner voice“.

— Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

‘As much as we love to write, it’s important to take breaks — to live your life and have new experiences, and to reflect and recharge so you can come back to your desk, ready to hit the keyboard again. Not writing allows you to gain the distance from your words, and thus perspective, which are both needed when it’s time to edit’. WP

The Pause in the Music:

The ceasura or the pause is an essential ingredient in great music. The silence enhances the note before and after. Taking this metaphor to the art of writing, a pause or a break in the writing regimen produces great writing!

The mind is a good tool for any purpose, albeit in some, especially artists, writers et al, it tends to take on an obsessive element. Concentration leads to focussed writing, but too much of this can make it a bit monotonous and repetitive. Hence if you want to come up with good ideas go for a walk in the midst of your writing when you get stuck. Literally. It adds to your literary value! Try it.

Sometimes it helps to do tasks unconnected with what you are writing, like some physical activity that does not require thinking or something else that is creative like music, painting or even cooking up a good dish which is my personal favourite. When the mind takes a break, it comes back to the task at hand, refreshed and rejuvenated. It is not that you lose the thread of your thoughts, for when the conscious mind is still, the unconscious has a chance to process information and ideas perhaps picked up subliminally. And herein lies one secret to good writing. PAUSE. Do something else. “Change of work is rest.”

If you want me to give an honest answer and not a goody-goody one like, “well, I do a workout”, as far as how I take breaks and recharge, well I do it by reading. I take up a juicy crime novel, a P.D. James or an evergreen P.G. Wodehouse and at the end of it, probably sometime the next day, something clicks at where I left off previously.

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