I've been reading what other writers have to say about maintaining sanity in a world where we who live in our minds are considered a bit ...odd. Exercise works for me - my two mile walk in the morning is more of a plotting session than a physical workout. Getting out into the real world helps - I do my share of volunteer gigs, teaching Sunday School, etc., but I need other forms of creativity to keep my brain cells perking. Recently, I re-discovered how much I love to sew.
I've sewn all my life. I know - it's an old-fashioned deal, but I was raised by women who could whip out a Vogue pattern in hours. Fabrics, their colors, their weight, how they mesh, how they will drape, all attract me. I wandered through a fabric store (a dying breed, I fear) the other day, fingering bolt upon bolt of fabric before I found the right one for a new pattern I want to try. Before the project was done, I'd adjusted the pattern, substituted my own ideas, and voila, produced a blouse that wasn't boring, didn't look as if it had been churned out in a sweatshop somewhere, and fit.
Even better, I'd thought about where to take this new book I'm playing with. Working with my hands frees my thoughts, and even though I'm paying attention to what I'm doing as my trusty Husquervarna runs like a Hendrick engine through layers of cloth, I'm living with my new characters. Talking to them. Listening as they lecture me. The conversation felt as productive as if I'd spent hours spent in my yard, planting, pruning and weeding. Plus, I didn't sweat as much, LOL.
My creative well is now swathed in some very nice lightweight wool and a lovely silk, and feeling quite full, thank you very much.