If you have ever felt like you are living your entire life behind a desk hunched over and rushing towards deadlines, this article is for you. Sure, every writer could benefit with extended writing sessions, but getting burnt out can be a real issue too. Even sickly Marcel Proust, who was bedridden for most of his career, would take a few days off to the opera ever so often.
Here are some leisurely activities for when you need a break from writing, that may actually help you with your craft:
Image from The Improv Company’s Facebook page
Has the cat got your tongue? Or perhaps you are struck with writer’s block yet again. Well fear not. You will never have to think about what to say again after some improv lessons. Improv is the art of making something up spontaneously, the perfect counter to any writer’s block.
You’ll be surprised with the amazing and often hilarious results you can come up with by just letting loose and having fun. The best thing about improv is that you really don’t need to prepare for anything but still gain tremendous value from it.
The Improv Company is as good a place to start as any. Their Improv for Everyone! programme is an introductory lesson on the basics of improv for beginners and dabblers at just S$10. Through a series of games and activities, you’ll get to explore the repressed sides of your personality and learn to tap into your instincts for ideas. And relax, you won’t need to perform for an audience unless you really want to.
Get to know your pen in a different way by drawing lines instead of writing them. Sketching can be a therapeutic art form to indulge in during your downtime, but it’s also a great way to force yourself to look at the world more intensely.
The way flowers in a field look at different times of the day or the patterns of falling leaves can make for some great subjects. But more importantly, they present a very different perspective of the world that we don’t usually consider. That is something every writer should embrace.
If you’re interested in working on your first sketch, check out Arthaus, which offers beginner lessons for adults in drawing, painting and the like. You can also check out various YouTube channels and pick up a few tricks there.
Image from The Projector’s Facebook page
If you enjoy melting into your couch over the weekend while spending hours on Netflix, this option may be for you. Breaking down plot lines and characters with a bunch of like minded fanatics is a great way to explore themes and storytelling devices!
If that sounds like your kind of fun, the Singapore Film Society is the place for you. The society brings film lovers together with exclusive movie screenings, discounts for local film festivals and more. If you prefer something a little more hipster The Projector hosts private screenings and special events for member of their film club. They are a little secretive about it, but you can try your luck by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested.
Image from stocksnap
If you’ve always preferred the books to the movies, there’s a space for you too! The Hungry Hundred Book Club is one such place where members gather to discuss and dissect some of the most influential and popular books in the world. From The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to The Iliad, you will be able to find something you’d love to discuss with them.
There are also a ton of other book clubs scattered across the island, plenty of which are conveniently collected onto this list by the National Library Board. Use it to find a club near you or a non-English club if you so desire.
Possibly my favourite activity on the list, video games temporarily transport you to outlandish worlds where you craft your own stories. The open worlds and immersive environments can be a gateway to plenty of inspiration.
Image from seekfirstproductions.com
The way video games tell stories have also evolved tremendously with rich characters and colourful worlds with complex societal structures. If you enjoy strong narratives, try out ‘The Walking Dead‘, where you play a survivor of the zombie apocalypse with a shady past, meet new characters and are forced to make incredibly hard decisions.
Image from giantbomb.com
If you prefer something less horrifying, the world of ‘The Witcher‘ may be your calling. Based on a popular dark fantasy novel series of the same name, Andrzej Sapkowski’s work is brought to life, featuring new adventures of Geralt the monster slayer. The amazing stories and sweeping vistas urge you to explore the world and its characters and to draw some inspiration from them.
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