Creative minds are rarely neat...

The Importance of Getting Out of Your Head (For a While)


Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting three university students from Melbourne. One, Tamara, had read my books and asked if she could feature me as the ‘interesting person’ for a short documentary she needed to do for a class project. While unfamiliar (and, to be frank, familiar as well) social situations have a tendency to set off my anxiety, I couldn’t say no. Especially because I know that the magic of film editing would take care of most of my mistakes. Haha.

The entire process – from the filming to the questions and so on – couldn’t have been more fun. They let me blow off steam in the best way I know how – goofing off. They got Mr McDougall involved, which I loved because he has always been and is such a strong supporter of my writing. I also got to brush some of the dust off what I’d learned in Screenwriting a couple years back.

They also brought me chocolate, and some cider was involved. Goodness did I feel like a celebrity.

While the interview process brought up a lot of interesting thoughts (that I will likely be writing about in other posts), the big one that stuck out to me emerged from the experience itself:

The importance of getting out of your head – for a while, at least.

I’ve been really hard on myself in the recent past for a lot of writing-related reasons. Some of it is entirely justified. I need to hammer out a firm schedule so I can create content faster than I currently do. As much as I may need to do the laundry, I also need to call procrastination habits for what they are.

However, some of it isn’t justified. Not at all. For those reasons, I don’t want to get into exactly what those thoughts/that self-commentary involves, but I am reminded of how we are our own harshest critics.

Yesterday was absolutely brilliant for me in every way. It got me out of my own head to the point of engaging with new people, reminded me of who I am in others’ eyes, and it – very gently – showed me that I have been sitting in my self-pity mud puddle for a bit too long.

I finally got out of my head long enough to clean out the brain fuzz and get over the metaphorical sore neck I had from staring down at that ol’ puddle for so long. Everyone needs an ego stroke every now and then, and everyone definitely needs to have new experiences. After all, new experiences translate into richer writing.

Plus, if you do it sooner rather than later, it might not take an entire film crew to wake you up to yourself. 😉


  1. Em Em

    Reading this makes me smile!
    I’ve always been so severe with myself that I throw away most of the things I paint/write/knit/tat… While I’ve never asked anyone for their opinion of my writing, it does feel good when people appreciate the other things I create. Without the occasional nudge, I get too strict with everything I do, and it’s all downward and depressing from there…

    It’s great that you always have the supportive Mr.McDougall around, and other nice people too!

    • JM (FictionScribe) JM (FictionScribe)

      Thank you for taking the time to comment. :) That makes me smile. I’m sorry to hear that you get down about the things you create. Perhaps you could try a ‘time box’. Anything that you have the urge to throw away, but in there for X amount of time (no looking at it before the time has passed).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Dark Echoes: Cover of the Year!