Some people talk about having out-of-body experiences but as a writer, I feel like I have those almost every day. I "play" in my head with fictional characters and plot on a daily basis. So much so that sometimes I have trouble switching back to the "real world."
With two intense deadlines this summer, I spent most of the past couple months lost in my books. Which means I was in my head. A lot.
So when I met the first deadline a few weeks ago, I sought an out-of-mind experience as a reward. I needed to get out of my head and ground myself. I scheduled a massage. I hadn't had one in over a year (mostly because I was so achy after the last one, but also because I'm horrible at taking time for myself). I was amazed at how that one hour of simply laying on a table brought me back into myself.
After meeting the second of those pesky deadlines on this past Friday, I decided to ground myself again. After turning my book over to my editor, I visited a relative in the hospital (nothing like seeing the pain others are going through to forget your own issues), took the family out to dinner at a new restaurant, and spent Saturday reading on my covered patio, enjoying the warm breezes against my skin and the sound of hummingbirds zipping by. It was a re-awakening of the five senses.
As I write this, I have another day off before I need to start working toward my next deadline. In my crazy 2015 schedule, today I’m supposed to be looking over another book I’ve started and try to add more words (as well as compose this blog post), before starting back on edits on a different book tomorrow. Instead, I’ve decided to spend another day getting outside of my head. I’ll play with the kids, take a walk, and help that relative check out of the hospital. I’ll take my dad and my kids out for pancakes at one of their favorite places. I may even start reading a new book.
I’ll just be. With myself, no characters.
Because while I love escaping into the stories in my head, sometimes I need to leave there and be more aware of myself and my surroundings. Hmm… Maybe I’ll sign up for the yoga class across the hall from my massage place this week. It's important to take time for myself as much as my characters.
What do you do to ground yourself? Any tips for centering yourself in the real world?
Anne Marie has always been fascinated by people—inside and out—which led to degrees in Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, and Counseling. Her passion for understanding the human race is now satisfied by her roles as mother, wife, daughter, sister, and award-winning author of romantic suspense.
She writes to reclaim her sanity.
Find ways to connect with Anne Marie at www.AnneMarieBecker.com. There, sign up for her newsletter to receive the latest information regarding books, appearances, and giveaways.