There are times when I’m writing, both for my day job and for my romance writing, where the pressures of daily life just seem a little much. Not the crushing weight that makes you want to crawl into a corner and rock back and forth humming Willy Wonka songs, mind you. But those days when the news about Syria or the stupidity of local politics, or just plain ol’ “Family Drama” and first world pains seem to be piling up at an alarming rate. Now, for some writers, the obvious answer is to channel that angst and negativity and sadness into their writing.
I would not be one of those writers. Sadly, I have a really hard time letting that kind of stuff go. It clings to me like hot taffy, burning my skin, and I find there are really only two things I can do to make it stop.
- Go to sleep. This is clearly not the ideal situation. While it does shut off my brain and reset it, I lose valuable time where I feel I’ve not been even remotely productive. Yes, I do choose this option on occasion, but it’s usually because I have exhausted all other options and nothing has yanked me from the edge of the pit of despair.
- Meditate. This really does work a great deal of the time. It clears my head, helps me focus on the moment, and provides me with some amazing insight in my problems. But, sometimes I’ve already meditated. (Okay, so meditate again, dummy.)
But there are times when things just don’t seem that bad, but I need, for lack of a better term, a mental “pick me up.” I’m in an ok place, but not a true “happy” place that really helps me get started with my romance writing. So, what’s a girl to do? Ah, my dear romance friend, I’m glad you asked. Laid out in all its glorious splendor, is the wonder if YouTube.
Now, I’m not saying that you should go trolling for links and avoid your writing. No, not that at all. You can get totally lost in the rabbit holes of the web, my friend. I do, however, think you should set aside a small selection of videos, no more than seven tops, that you can label in a special Evernote file or favorites list, that will 100% guaranteed give you a pick me up. I find that these are the handful of videos that surprise and delight me, that make me cry happy tears every time I watch them, and that get me back to that sense of joy and wonder about humanity, all of which helps me write words that aren’t full of scorn and derision of a day on wrong.
My list is actually only a little bit longer than the few videos I list here. I mentioned one at the end of my post when I talked about the recent passing of my Uncle Tom (Delta Rae’s “Dance in the Graveyards“). But there are handful more that I rely on regularly for a variety of reasons, and I’d like to share them with you.
For when I simply need to laugh…
Amnesty International hosted the famous mime Johann Lippowitz. I am decidedly not a fan of physical humor, so much so that I refuse to watch most movies with stars known for it (my husband despairs of me ever watching his beloved Marx Brothers). But this? I laugh. Out loud. Every single time. And then I applaud when Natalie Imbruglia joins in the fun.
For when I need my faith in humanity restored…
Okay, so it’s a sponsored ad by a gum company. But…but…it’s people dancing for the joy of it, especially little kids, and the music that just lifts my heart and …crap there’s a lot of dust in here…*sniffle*
For when I need to remember the crazy things we do for love…
Had I not eloped and had their been flashmobs present back in the day when I got married, I would have totally done this to my husband. Totally. I watch this video not because of the production quality or because of the talent of the singers. Frankly some of it is pretty awful. I also don’t watch it because it’s in my top 10 fav stage plays (Fiddler on the Roof? Bah. Crappy story. I’m more of an unapologetic Sondheim girl, really). No, I watch this video because it’s something I’d completely do for my husband were I in the position to do it today. It’s crazy and everyone is clearly having a crap ton of fun.
For when I need to remember the passion of doing what you love…
Forget for a moment that you’re watching a beer commercial during football season here, ok? I’m neither a football fan nor a fan of mass produced beer (I’m a local brew girl at heart). However, this one video made me remember that sometimes what you really need is just a cheering section. I am lucky enough to have that right here in the ladies at Teatime, and in you guys, every time you comment and cheer us on in this blogging endeavor.
Folks, what are your pick-me-up videos when your writing or just your day in general isn’t going at all like you planned? Do you watch kittens? Enjoy babies laughing or dancing?
(PS. Lisa, my dear, I actually think of you when I watch the one of Michael Buble and his duet with 15-year-old birthday boy Sam. I got to it one night after re-watching one of the Josh Groban videos that you posted.)
(P.P.S. I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention this duet with Kristen Chenowith and audience member Sarah Horn, which I only discovered recently, after I’d already drafted this blog post.)