It’s that time of year again. The calendar promises spring but many of us are still in winter’s grip. (Thanks for nothing, Punxsutawny Phil!)
For a writer, being unable to get out of one’s house can be a good thing. (Except in the case of, you know, him.) Especially for a writer like me who hasn’t got cable and a marathon of Food Network and HGTV shows to distract her from the task at hand. (Help me out here, it’s been a while. Is HGTV even still on?)
So when I was thinking about this week’s theme, it occurred to me: Do/Can writers really get cabin fever? In some ways, aren’t we always stuck indoors? Instead of cabin fever, do we get manuscript fever? Because I don’t know about you, but getting out of my house/cabin isn’t the problem, it’s getting out of my head when I’m head-long into a story.
Don’t get me wrong—it’s a wonderful condition and not one I’d trade for anything—but more often than not, I can’t blame the groundhog for my melancholy. I get a little too comfy when I’m stuck inside. Put another way: if my brain wore clothes, it would be dressed in yoga pants and my husband’s cable-knit sweater.
So what to do when the “cabin” of our writing brains won’t let us out to play?
Admittedly, this can be an easier problem to solve when the weather is nice. A long walk, a hike, even a half-hour in a park watching people file by, can provide the perfect diversion. Reading, of course, is another great way to force our too-cozy, too-hunkered-down brains out of the house. And by reading, I don’t even mean you have dive into a whole new novel (but do, by all means!)—sometimes just a few chapters, even from a book you know and love, can be a wonderful vacation from the same four walls of our WIPs. (Or is that what people now call a staycation?)
We all know how easy it is to stay put. Especially when the wind is bitter and the grass is brown and the sky has that steel gray color that looks (and smells!) of snow. But I think we can all benefit from a little break.
Take it from Kurt Russell who knows a Thing or two about cabin fever, endless winter, and the pitfalls of early computer chess (a wee bit of language at the end):
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So what do you all do to fight the threat of “writers cabin fever?”