The majority of my blog is focused on writing, making other aspect of what I do overlooked. For the past several weeks I have been taking some time away from writing to refresh my creativity. To do this, I decided to visit my other creative interest – music. As I mentioned in a previous post, taking some time away from writing to clear your head is mentally healthy and often will be more productive if you have been run dry and not making much progress. For this, I decided to step back from writing since NaNoWriMo 2015.
Why Is Have An Alternative Outlet Important?
Having another creative outlet allows your mind run wild in places it hasn’t gone before. It lets you push new boundaries in your own thought process. To maximize on this, having the outlet differ from your regular goals (writing, for example), forces you to think differently from your regular thinking patterns. This will help broaden your mind and inevitably help your creativity.
Pick Another Interest You’ve Had.
Find an activity that you have interest in so you have a drive to try it out. Ideally something that uses a different part of the brain so you aren’t using the same thought patterns as you do with writing. My own outlet is music, specifically industrial music. If you are unaware of industrial music, it is a genre with very few limits and often used as an umbrella term for a lot of harsh and aggressive electronic sub genres. Nine Inch Nails or Skinny Puppy are more commonly known bands in this genre. I grew up listening to industrial from an early age and was always curious how the music was made.
Push Yourself Out of Your Familiar Comfort Zone.
Start this new direction when you are at your wits end with what you are currently doing. That should be a good sign it is a time for change. Since 2012 I have been jamming for fun, composing industrial tracks on my spare time. I decided to pick up music because I was mentally stagnant. I wasn’t growing or learning as I was in the previous years. I felt like I was stuck.
Don’t take it seriously.
The point of the new outlet is to remove yourself from your day to day actives and explore uncharted boundaries. If you start taking it seriously you will naturally put up mental restrictions and treat this outlet as a chore or task. Relax, have fun with it.
Due to my long-term fascination with industrial music I chose to take up learning how to make this kind of tune and have been continually learning it since. It now serves as a stress reliever or if I need an escape from my day to day routine. Even though I don’t take it seriously, I do want to grow in this direction to explore music theory, instruments and recording.
Here’s a tid bit of what I record:
As mentioned at the start, if you find yourself mentally stuck or exhausted then perhaps it is time to use an outlet to give yourself a clear head.
Do you have an outlet from your writing or regular routine?