What does gardening have to do with writing? I love to take a dirt break from writing, where I dig and plant and weed (well, sometimes I weed!) out in the fresh air. This clears my head, quiets my mind, and helps me reset my brain, so the writing flows more easily.
Gardening is a form of meditation for me. I don’t think when I’m gardening, I just dig around and enjoy the sensory impact: sun on my skin, fresh fragrances, birds singing. Quieting my mind results in consciously redirecting energy away from negative thoughts that do not serve me well, such as “I’m stuck”, “Where do I go from here?”, or “I’ve written myself into a corner and I can’t get out!” Even generalized anxiety over my work can impede me, including the dreaded “I don’t have enough time to write!” Pull my focus, or energy, away from negative thoughts and my brain shifts into a more positive state.
“This has beneficial effects on both the body (lower blood pressure, deeper breathing, relaxation of muscles, healing in cells, lower anxiety levels) and the mind (increased clarity, focus, and concentration, as well as better sleep and improved mood).”
Many brilliant people have taken a break from their creative thinking to participate in other activities, including the Albert Einstein. The patent office was his escape from big brain work:
So take a hint from the yogis and the world’s greatest thinkers: get dirty for better writing!