I have many ways of getting bogged down on my writing projects, or on household chores, or whatever. I’m really quite accomplished at getting stuck in the proverbial mud and flailing around, causing a lot of mess but getting absolutely no where. Then procrastination sets in, frequently accompanied by intense, incessant whining. My close writing friends know all about it.
It all comes down to a lack of perspective, I suppose. After all, when you’re in the mud it’s hard to see the same sights as when you’re atop a mountain overlooking a verdant valley.
I have one surefire remedy for a lack of perspective – conundrums in my writing, and a general lack of creativity and inspiration in many areas of my life, actually.
It never fails. Put me on a bus, train, plane or ferry and suddenly the ideas are flowing, a nonstop rushing stream that I step into when it’s not too cold or rough and when I do it’s like the coffers of heaven seem to rain down upon me with creative energy. I think it has to do with stimulation, time, and boredom. In general, when you travel you are bombarded – depending on how far you go from your native surroundings – with different sights, smells, tastes, and sounds. You need to utilize different areas of your brain than you use on a daily basis to figure out how to get on that subway in time to catch that bus with enough money left over to spend it paying admission for that museum full of ancient artifacts and having a relaxing lunch afterward in of jamon, tapas and the local brew while watching the local old men gossip about the day’s happenings. Then you walk down unfamiliar streets to your temporary hotel home, and so on.
In between all the getting from here to there you find yourself waiting, whether it be in the car or on the airplane crammed between fat, snoring men and whiny children.
That time, that new stimuli, that boredom frees your mind from the everyday constraints, and freedom brings ideas, new solutions, and creativity in general. Give it a shot the next time you find yourself inundated with the minutiae of daily existence.
This video here provides the essence of travel in all its eye-popping glory for those who dare:
MOVE from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.