Trying to chase the bad from my head

My day job is occasionally at odds with my fiction writing. My secret identity is as a freelance technical writer, and while in some cases that's actually pretty helpful (being able to write a complex installation procedure for a networked environment has unexpected advantages when writing science fiction) it can also be occasionally incompatible (being able to write a complex installation procedure for a networked environment IS NOT ENTERTAINING).

Last month I was pulled in to an emergency contract that was incompatible with writing fiction. It required a very specific mindset that was not easy to get out of--so I'd work a 12 or 13 hour day focused on this task (which is exhausting in its own right) and then I'd want to write but I wouldn't be able to just switch over... and by the time my brain was starting to switch over I'd want to sleep... and then I'd need to get back into that mindset again. April was a terrible, terrible, depressing month.

But it's over! And I survived! And now I have time again and I'm sitting down to write and OH YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME "this is your Captain speaking, we're currently entering a little turbulence and we recommend you sit motionless in one place staring at your monitor for hours at a time not making any progress whatsoever."

Yeah, getting back into the swing of things is going to require a little more swinging.

Anyway, just ranting. Hi! How's stuff?

Well, I'm not a writer, but I bet I can guess this one. After all that work, you need to relax your brain and get it into the fiction mode by letting yourself READ some fiction. As you read some good stuff, it will inspire you and give you ideas for your own stories.

I'm always hopeful for more Points Between, so how about dusting off one of your Charles Williams collection? Then it won't even feel like slacking, because you'll be reading something from over 100 years ago when everyone was more erudite. But really, you should probably just read anything you feel like.

Take whatever time you need, shifting gears isn't always the easiest thing in the world. It gets harder if you worry about it. Fiona's suggestion of reading is a very good one. Doing physical non-mental work is also a very good way of finding a balance even if its just a walk.

I've had to do a lot more work lately for my own job, but I often wind up feeling like killing somebody, which is actually a helpful mindset for me to be in.

I know all sorts of things to take your mind off stuff.

If you liked the Dark Knight, there's always the Joker Blogs on youtube.

If you need some comedy, you might go with old clips of Whose Line Is It Anyway? like the "If you know what I mean game." That'll really stick a stupid grin on your face, if you know what I mean.

Alternatively, there's some good old fashioned Super Powered Beatdowns by the folks at Bat in the Sun. I admit I marked out a bit at Mortal Kombat's Scorpion versus the White Ranger, and then later at Captain America versus Master Chief.

For more videogame-related humor, you might try Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin'?

I think I'll skip past the weird song recommendations and from here out go to the ole memetic hug formula.

Here's a nice thing to see on a bad day.

Darn oxygen allergy is flaring up again after seeing that.

Then the actual hugs:

From there, let's relax a bit with some music, a little diddy called "Since I Left You":

And finally, Charlie Chaplin, speaking from a movie called The Great Dictator, has a few words for ya. Don't let the costume fool you. It's a case of lookalikes and mistaken identity:

I know the feeling well. Definitely consuming media is a great way to get the muse back. Any media you find inspiring. Even better if it relates to what you want to be working on. Whenever I hit writer's block, I play a couple hours of Mass Effect and bam, right back in space mindset.

I think there really is something to be said though about consuming when you can't create. Creating is pressure. Trying to think and feel and figure. When you sit on your ass and read or watch or play something, the work's already done for you so you can just relax and let your mind do its thing, free of obligation.

Also taking a shower helps me...Worth a shot?

All my writing the last few weeks is polishing an official complain letter for my wife and working on her resume, i'm with you.

I agree though, reading is good. It's how I'm getting back into the swing.