Copyright Warren Layton

Okay, not that kind of mixing.

Have you ever let yourself get distracted and cut yourself off from your community, friends, or family? Allowing life to get you busy, or barricading yourself well and good until the project is done? Sure, it works for a while, but eventually things get stale, the project loses its life and we become grumpy.

I know writers in general are a solitary species, we like our privacy. The problem is, we’re still human, and need social circles to keep ourselves sane.

I’m sure some of you have heard of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. It’s pretty basic in motivational theory, something that I get to be told time and again working on my degree. The basics of Maslow’s Hierarchy are simple: We must fulfill certain needs in a strict order. That order goes from ‘base needs’ of food and shelter, up to self-actualization which includes creativity.

The burn out people feel when they’re spending all of their time with their creative endeavors is because their needs for love, belonging and esteem aren’t being met. These three things can’t be obtained in the vacuum so many creative types demand for their creations!

So we need to keep our batteries charged so we can be creative.

Family

I may be biased, but the most important social interaction any of us have is with our own families. Set time aside for them! They may not share your dreams, but they care about you more than anyone else.

Friends

Your friends, be they internet or analog, are important, too. These are the people who share your interests and have a genuine interest in seeing you succeed. I spend one day a week at a local game shop and ‘unwind’ with people who share my interests.

Social Networks

Social networking is awesome. Getting to know people you adore as a fan, getting to know others going the same direction in life as you, and making these people friends over interaction is amazing. Not to mention inspiring!

In the end, I know that if I don’t interact with people with similar interests regularly, I end up very drained and unable to partake of those interests. After all, being the only one writing can be fulfilling, but it’s so much more interesting with a writing group!

What steps do you take to recharge your creative batteries?

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