Monday, February 9, 2015


Several weeks ago, my wife gave the sermon for our church retreat "Winter Escape." One of the subjects she addressed was the issue of rest. She cited a number of researchers and statistics that discussed how, as a species, we have developed the technology to be the most leisure-based society: the group that rests for the largest percentage of our time. However, the majority of working people tend to feel overworked.

I'm no exception. An eight-hour work day is a light day for me. As I type, I've already been at work (the school I teach at) for eleven hours, and yes I'm sneaking a minute from work to do some blogging- a different job, but still a form of work. 

Overwork and stress are the single biggest enemies to the creative mind. A writer might force themselves to sit at their computer for seven hours a day, but are they writing well?  The important thing isn't even to just get rest, the critical detail for a writer is to have enough to actually daydream

I remember a music theory class I took in college, where the teacher insisted the only important thing in one piece we were studying was the rests. In the creative process, the mind needs time to build, to dream. Forcing an overworked mind to pump out information, doesn't lead to better creation, or even necessarily to more creation.

Every time I sit down to write, I try to spend at least a half hour thinking of nothing. I let my mind wander. Perhaps I'll go on a walk, or perhaps I'll meditate. If I don't have time during a busy workday to have this creation time, I still spend at least ten minutes before I sleep allowing my mind to go anywhere. Little by little, the fires of the creative process are fanned, and the creation improves.

What moments of rest work for you?


  1. Oh, Chris, I know what you mean. I was so run down from selling books all December, then preparing a manuscript for submission while completing edits for a novel coming out soon. This weekend, we went away to Sun Peaks Resort, and I feel renewed. I'm going to chill out today and watch several episodes of old tv shows. Chill, chill, chill.

  2. Sounds like a great plan Suzanne. I'm actually a bit of a hypocrite this week- in the middle of a 12-day work week, since I had to work both Saturday and Sunday. Some downtime sounds mighty nice...

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  4. Aloha Chris.

    Great blog thanks. I agree. We have to be able to rest to create. I have not some well with it over the past year. When I get stuck. I make myself take a day off and read. Do nothing else but feed the fur children. Then I'm off and racing again. But that rest is essential to fire things up again.

    Thanks. Enjoyed this and great pics. :-). Love the deal one with the overflowing paperwork. Lol

    Aloha Meg Amor. :-)