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Unplugging your creative brain.

"You need to live a little."

· Advice,Artists Corner

A lot of actors that I am fans of say the same thing.

They say that you need to live life in order to be a good creative. So yes, while you need to practice your art, whether that be acting, singing, writing, filmmaking, etc., you also need to experience life. That is for a couple of reasons:

1. So you don't get boring.

2. So you don't get complacent.

3. So you don't go crazy.

4. So you're always working on and improving some other area in your life..

Let's go over those, shall we? I know these things seem pretty self-explanatory, but I have you captive for the moment, and this is something that is important to me.

Because I, of all people, definitely understand how hard it is to let go of a train of thought, and to go out and grab ice cream with my friends. So here are my explanations as to why you should let that shit go:

1. So you don't get boring

Even I don't think I could stand to sit across from Emma Watson and listen to her recap all of her times on various sets without getting a bit bored from time to time. I'm sure even with all of the star-studded scenes and paparazzi-populated premieres, I'd eventually get bored with listening to her talk about #filmlife all day.
What else does she do? Well, for one she is a UN Ambassador. She's also an avid reader, and I'm pretty sure she does a whole bunch of other things too.

2. So you don't get complacent.

Laziness is different than complacency. The definition of lazy is that one is "unwilling to work of use energy", whereas the definition of "complacent" is "showing smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one's achievements".

3. So you don't go crazy.

This one should be self-explanatory. For some people (i.e. Alex Honnold), they can stay in their zone for weeks and weeks and weeks. It is how they perform so well: by staying in the zone. It usually happens when that person is doing what they love as a career, and they can stay on the same train without needing to take a step back to look at the bigger picture. Certain professions, like politics, require that level of focus, but demand the knowledge of other outside things. So, they need to stay sharp by being well-rounded.

4. So you're always working on and improving something else.

You see, people (especially in America, China and Japan) have a tendency to over "over" themselves: they overbook the weekend, they overextend their deadlines, they overlook their health... because they're so focused on that project!

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Doing other things besides your career, whether that is art or accounting, zookeeping or zebra-watching, will make sure that you're taking the time for the person who really needs it the most: you. And when you take care of you, you take care of your loved ones, too.

What is the best way to "unplug"?

This really depends on the person. But I have compiled a quick list of some things to consider!

1. Travel

Cost: $-$$$$

A great way to get perspective and get away from home is to travel. Even if you are sticking closer to home, you'll be in a situation where you can just be with yourself.

2. Creative Retreats

Cost: $$-$$$$

I like to call this summer camp for adults. And you can can go to these all-year-round. These kinds of retreats are great for artists looking to unplug but still stay on task, and a lot of these retreats offer the chance to learn from one or two teachers for the duration of the trip. If your problem is a creative blockage, getting out and way from the mess of day-to-day life by way of retreat is a great option.

Of course, you can go on a non-creative retreat. If you find that yoga relaxes you, yoga retreats are hugely popular, and a great way to get the blood flowing and find yourself along the way!

3. Hobbies

Cost: 0-$$$

Hobbies are a GREAT way to learn new skills, to meet new people, and to expand your horizons! There are so many different things to try, from challenging activities like rock-climbing to relaxing ones like coloring.

Depending on your activity, the monetary cost to pursue a new hobby could be no cost and ranging to a decent investment. When picking new hobbies, I suggest that you first look at what seems interesting and fun, then narrow it down by price feasibility. This way, you don't limit yourself, and you can save to do the more expensive things later down the road!

4. Working out

Getting good exercise is key to living a good and healthy life. If you're making time for at least two hours of exercise a week (that is 17.4 minutes/week-day or 24 minutes/work-day), you'll reap the benefits of good skin, good mental health, good thoughts.

5. Hanging out with friends

Cost: 0 (usually)

Spending time with your old pals or getting to know new ones is a great way to reduce stress. Listening to other people and taking about even the most mundane things literally takes your mind off of the project you're working on. Plus, you can vent about your work, and who knows? Maybe an idea will strike in the midst of conversation!

If you don't have many friends, or are struggling to maintain relationships, reaching out will still get you the same benefits. Don't be afraid to cultivate those friendships! And you may find that you're not alone in your creative blockage.

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If you think you need a break, chances are you do. Don't be afraid to trust that voice in your head that says "I need to walk away for a bit".

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