I have a friend who sometimes will go off the Internet for twenty-four hours and will just search the area around her for fun, excitement, stimulating conversation, something new and enjoyable. She calls it “Fishing for Life”, which I think is an appropriate title for what she does. As a college student, I can’t exactly go offline for a full day (what if I miss something important for classes?), but I admire the concept of disconnecting for a little while and going out into the world to enjoy it. And I did a bit of that this weekend.

Yesterday I was at my apartment, and I was going stir-crazy. I’d been cooped in because I had to work on an assignment, and then when I’d tried writing, I’d found myself unable to do it. I just had no motivation to write, I was just too restless. So I basically went on Facebook looking to see if anyone wanted to hang out. A friend of mine was going to a birthday party of a mutual acquaintance of ours, so I decided to buy a gift card and tag along. I ended up having a wonderful evening: over drinks (my lawyers swear non-alcoholic because obviously I’m not old enough to drink) I talked to and met some wonderful people. The birthday boy danced around the house, for some reason wearing a giant lizard suit and officer’s coat (hey it’s his birthday, he should go wild if he wants) and giving hugs to everyone who came. There were two girls who were from a small town about an hour from Columbus, and their high school used to bring in Chinese teachers straight from China just to teach the language. And I met a lovely young woman who shared a love with me for the TV show Hannibal and said she would check out The Following when I told her she looked like one of the characters. It was a wonderful couple of hours, and by the time I got home I was refreshed and relaxed and able to write again.

And then today I went to meditation class. That’s sort of a weekly ritual for me, going downtown on the buses to drop and pick up books at the library and then head up a couple floors to meditate, but today it took on an extra special meaning, as I realized that meeting my meditation group was also a way of fishing for life. And in our small study room, with soft music playing and our minds collectively aimed at clearing ourselves of thoughts and impurities and awakening ourselves, I felt a peace I hadn’t felt in so, so long. Even five or ten minutes after we’d finished meditating, my scalp was still tingling where my seventh chakra was supposed to be. And during the meditation, I had a couple of ideas for stories, one of which reminded me of an Anne Rice or a Dean Koontz story mixed with a manga I read a few years back.

I have to say, I rather enjoyed going out and fishing for life. And when I do it, I feel so much better and things come more easily to me. I guess as much as I like to sit in and work on the next great American Horror novel (or what I hope will be that), I need a certain amount of interaction with other people and in other places in order to write with any sort of competence or joy.

So the next time I feel antsy and can’t write, I’ll see what’s going on in or around campus. I could find a great idea for a story while I’m out and about, and while I’m at it I could find something even greater.

Do you ever go fishing for life? What happened when you did?

  1. Christine Haggerty says:

    Disconnecting and getting out is a big deal. I always have more energy and ideas when I do that.

  2. That IS a good idea, though I wonder if I too could go offline for a full 24 hours. Maybe just a few hours a day to go exploring and find something inspiring…

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