It has been said that many writers are just lazy, happy to spend hours each day gazing into nothingness and letting their rear ends take on the shape of a chair. This is true. But is all that lazying around looking louche a good way to relax?
I would disagree. When I write my brain is in overdrive, as sharp and as honed (mostly) as if I were at work. My job eats about 35 - 38 hours a week and can also be extremely physical (think small, awkward people running around at 50 miles an hour). Couple this with running a home and a national average family and it is probably a good thing that I need very little sleep.
I have always been aware that it is very important to feed yourself as much as you feed others and for twenty years I played sport. I also introduced 'fend for yourself Friday' (no cooking for me) and made sure that I spent some time on my own.
A very nasty dislocated jaw put pay to my sporting life and it soon became obvious that I needed something to fill the gap.
There followed a long career as an evening student at the local college, trying everything from singing to yet another tedious writing class. Nothing satisfied.
Okay, no laughing, here comes the solution and the best way to relax that I have ever found.
I joined a Samba band.
You may stop laughing now.
Every Tuesday I go and beat hell out of a rather large drum. The rhythms of this Brazilian batucada music get deep into your soul and the hypnotic beat of the surdu drum allows the head to escape and the muscles to relax.
For a hobby that requires a pair of earplugs during practice sessions, it is amazing that it is good for blood pressure and tension related ailments. I love it, and can you think of a better way to beat all those negative thoughts out of your head?