The Value of Other Creative Outlets

by Jonathan 13 Comments


Release Pressure Whenever You Can - photo by Les Chatfield - Brighton, England

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Balancing creative outlets is not something I’ve done very well over the last nine months. Writing has taken the lion’s share of my creative time. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, but there are days when I miss my other main creative outlet — playing music.

Music is usually a way for me to connect with other people (my brother in particular) and take a social moment as well. Mainly I bang on my guitar and sing loudly, but there is an element of catharsis there as well, a way of letting of steam that writing just cannot do.

Every time I pick up my guitar and play awhile, I wonder why I don’t do it more.

But I know why.

It’s because this novel has superseded my need to play music because I channel most of my creative energy there. But it is important to remember that sometimes it pays to take a little break and explore other media of creativity.

If you’re extra lucky, your foray into music or painting or drawing or woodworking or whatever it is may just inspire your writing.

No matter the outlet, I am glad to have the choice. It’s the good life.


Comments ( 13 )

  1. ReplyUninvoked
    Writing is my main love, but I do other things too. Draw pictures for my writing...crochet...wish I could play an instrument. :P
    • ReplyJonathan Danz
      That's awesome. I think I get so wrapped up in writing that I forget that there are other outlets. Along with music, I like to game when I can to find other outlets. As for playing an instrument, it's never too late to learn!
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  3. ReplyStephanie
    Enjoyed it all!
  4. ReplyCassandra Jade
    I used to be very into music but it consumes too much time and I let it slide away. I still say I'm going to get back into it one day but it probably won't happen. I think I'm happy that I chose writing as my creative outlet over music. I find it more flexible and that works for me. Other people will probably make different choices but I'm happy with mine.
    • ReplyJonathan Danz
      I definitely enjoy the flexibility writing offers compared to music. That said, I love the catharsis facet music offers. I don't get that with writing. You hit the key, though, if you are happy with your decision it's the right one. Thanks for commenting!
  5. ReplyCarolyn Yalin
    We can get lost in writing, and it's important to have something outside of it. I think it helps with our creativity. Thanks for stopping by yesterday.
    • ReplyJonathan Danz
      You're very welcome. Likewise. These days I find that my 4-year-old daughter, my wife and reading are my anchor outside of writing. I wouldn't have it any other way. I'll never abandon music, it just may take a back seat for a while.
  6. ReplyLindsay
    The steampunk author in me loves that picture. ;) I write for my day job (non-fiction), and I write for fun (fantasy), so I prefer to do things that have nothing to do with words for my other hobbies. I play tennis. ;) It's creative in its own way, and breaking a sweat and running around can be a great way to get one's mind of writing problems (like, doh, I wrote my characters into a pit with no way out *again*).
    • ReplyJonathan Danz
      It's always about balance, isn't it? I usually run these days for physical exercise (far too infrequently, of course) and find that it's a good time for me to brainstorm, especially when I write my characters into the inescapable pit. I could not do that if I was playing something requiring more focus like tennis. Thanks for stopping by!
  7. ReplyJoe Cunningham
    Hey Jonathan, Stumbled on your blog via FB and read a few entries (and watched some great Gillian Welch vids) and this one stuck in my craw. I do somewhat creative stuff in my day job (software) and I've found myself more productive with my guitar in the next room. When a problem confounds that raisin in my head, I go to the guitar, pick a song on the radio and try to figure out the chord progression or a basic lick. Oftentimes, I go back to the screen and keyboard and my problem seems to have worked itself out. Now that I know where you live on the interwebs, I'll be following along.
    • ReplyJonathan Danz
      What a great way to loosen up that ol' raisin. It's pretty cool how various creative outlets feed off each other. Maybe focusing on something else that is very much rooted in the present allows your subconscious to go to work unencumbered by your conscious mind. I haven't kept a guitar down here in the writing shack because it's not climate controlled unless I'm in there writing. I'll have to figure something else out.

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