Writing: An Exercise in Happy Distraction

Writing: An Exercise in Happy Distraction


Like many of us this week, you may be wondering how you’re going to get yourself through the rest of winter mentally and emotionally. Planning a tropical vacation? Relaxing with Netflix on the TV and a cozy fire in the fireplace? Closing all the curtains and ignoring the snow outside? These are all fine options, but here’s a really creative one:


Write your way through it.

Because it requires so much focus, writing can be a great way for you to distract yourself. So, when the post holiday season’s got you down, reach for pen and paper to cheer yourself up.


You can write about anything, really, as long as it brings emotional relief. Writing your own happy place is one option. It takes some imagination even if you’re conjuring up a real place in your writing. You have to choose which details to highlight to really get a feel for the setting.


Then, you could simply enjoy your escape into the scene, or you could populate it by creating characters. This is another engrossing option that should have you forgetting the cold weather blues in no time. There’s so much to consider, to dream up for each character: appearance, backstory, beliefs and values, and preferences.


If you’d like, you can take the exercise a step further to invent a plot. Any kind of plot you want. Maybe you’re going to create a cozy mystery set in a small island community. Or a humorous present-day Western. Or a poetry collection encompassing the elements you came up with.


Whether you work what you’ve written into a larger project is up to you. If you do, you have a pretty good head start. If you don’t, you at least distracted yourself with something entertaining, exercised your imagination, and got some writing practice. It’s a win-win situation.