Of Writing, Rest and Re-Creation

by Anne Wayman

kayakI went kayaking last night.

Here in San Diego we have an active kayaking meetup group. We usually kayak on San Diego’s Mission Bay. We start at Aqua Adventures off Quivera Way (down at the bottom of the chart if you’re looking) and paddle a couple of miles out, maybe to Vacation Island and then back. Last night when we came back we went past Quivera Basin and on to┬áHospitality Point (#5 on the chart.)

Mission Bay is calm, flat water, except for some fairly strong tides and the occasional brisk breeze. Lots of bird life, the occasional sea lion, the SDSU outrigger club, and one time even dolphins.

I love it.


Although I workout regularly, a couple of hours propelling a wee boat with a double ended paddle takes a bit out of me. I’m if not exactly trashed the next day, I am physically tired in the best possible way. I never plan on doing much writing the day after a kayak trip. Instead I just want to carry the sense of fatigue and beingness as far as I can. Usually, sometime after noon I’m back to my normal self.

I have found that engaging in a joyful activity that has nothing to do with writing seems to inform my writing and make it better. For me recreation doesn’t have to involve physical effort. Time with grandkids works. So does an hour with my non-writing friends. So does meditation.

Kayaking is just one way I restore myself.

What do you do to restore yourself? Tell us about it.

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Image from http://www.sxc.hu

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

jorgekafkazar December 20, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Lately, I’ve acquired a free gym membership and work out 2 or 3 times a week. I also like to do simple crafts, like bookbinding and such, turning my writing into custom products. I’m getting a long-reach stapler for Christmas (I hope) to let me make booklets for shorter works. There is always ivy outside to trim, or something to fix, if I can’t think of anything else. I used to do cryptic crosswords, but I don’t have the time, now.
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annew December 23, 2010 at 1:13 pm

I find I need to get outdoors.

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jorgekafkazar December 24, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Good. I have enough ivy for two.

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Ellen December 20, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Whatever I do, I don’t read! It’s so funny how offices, clinics, etc., leave reading material around for waiting times. I don’t pick up any of them – I do enough reading and both my mind and my eyes need something else to do. I knit, have lunch with friends, visit museums – the time I spend seeking out and enjoying visual art has gone way up since being so task-involved with words.

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annew December 20, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Funny how different we are… which is good.

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irene July 2, 2010 at 2:33 am

To restore myself , I usually go to the market after doing some writing to treat myself an ice cream or buy a surplus dress.

I consider a 30minute to an hour walk around the market place , chatting with vendors on the streets and spending on food items a form of regenerative routine.

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jorgekafkazar July 1, 2010 at 12:55 am

I take a weekend in Ojai, meet with friends, attend a workshop. get a massage, go to church in Santa Barbara, help friends fix stuff around the house, drop by my old employer’s offices, and generally do very little, if any, writing.

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Melissa September 5, 2009 at 5:29 pm

Kayaking is great exercise and wonderful for your soul. It’s hard to beat being outdoors surrounding on gorgeous San Diego scenery and getting up close and personal with a variety of marine life. I love it!
.-= Melissa┬┤s last blog ..Sep 5, Top Romantic Movies =-.

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Mabel August 28, 2009 at 8:27 pm

I enjoy figure skating. I do it on weekends now because I work full-time, in addition to editing a novel at the moment. It’s something I always wanted to do, and even though I’m not that great at it, I really enjoy it. Two hours on Saturday and usually an hour on Sunday sometimes wipes me out. But it’s a good wipe, not like coming home from work tired after a hard day and looking desperately at my poor little manuscript which needs my attention. Since I have been working on the book at lunchtime at work also, I don’t always feel guilty about taking a really long nap on Saturday after skating! :)

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