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writing about color

unwind from writingThe last week wasn’t the best, with writing doldrums, ill health and what have you. Plus, no walks. No walks get me cranky–they wind me up like a tightly-coiled spring about to lash out.

To keep me calm while I stayed in bed, (with no books because I couldn’t focus at all) I did what I usually do at such times: doodle. I borrowed an iPad, opened up an app and just let the stylus do its thing.

Sunbursts of colour, just letting go and not caring about what came of it.

I have done dozens of them by now, and they helped: I didn’t throw a hissy fit, the furniture is intact, as is everything else in my household. I’m slowly getting back to reading and writing, and life. And fundraising. If you haven’t yet supported a very deserving school, please click one of the links below.

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What about you? What do you do to unwind? What winds you up? Have you ever tried doodling?

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Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • Wondergirl says:

    I take walks, listen to music, read books, or work on something else. Your doodles are amazing.

  • msw blog says:

    Your doodles are so vibrant and, glad life is getting back to normal.

  • Beechmount says:

    I unwind by thinking about the characters and the story I’m writing. It keeps my mind occupied and my imagination going full speed.

  • Karl says:

    I ought to follow your lead and take walks. I could certainly stand the exercise. Singing is a huge way for me to unwind, even if it’s just in my house with Spotify blaring. Karaoke is a big one for me. I can express whatever is going on inside me with song, doesn’t matter what mood I’m in.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      I listen to music as I do my rounds of the park. Doubly relaxing!

  • SCLMRose says:

    I do gardening to unwind. Life is stressful lately so I buy more plants but find I don’t have space for them. So I put them on pots. Love your doodles. Very colorful. I do love bright colors. Cheer me up all the time. Glad you are on the mend.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks for your comment, and happy to meet a fellow gardening enthusiast.

  • I’m so very cranky without my daily walks so I totally get this! Love your blog and hope you feel better soon.

  • I doodle in meetings when I can’t write much because I have to pay at least some attention.

  • G.B. Miller says:

    Only doodle during very dull all-staff meetings. What gets me to unwind is walking paired with listening to podcasts on my phone. I usually do three to four mile walks on the weekends and with the weather starting to become warmer where I live, fifteen minute walks during lunch. Great way to exercise and to get my diabetes better managed.

  • Esha M Dutta says:

    So glad you took to doodling, Damyanti! Yes, life can be challenging like that, sometimes and you need to find whatever it is that helps you banish the blues away! In my case, sketching and drawing and listening to music usually works. If not, I get on the phone and chat with a friend.

  • Laureen says:

    My dog usually ensures that I get enough fresh air each day – uff;)

  • Christy B says:

    I get cranky if I don’t get fresh air. My fiance makes me leave the house some days 😉 Hopefully you have a peaceful weekend 🙂

  • Fabulous post

  • macjam47 says:

    Hope you are feeling better, Damyanti. Your doodles are pretty.???

  • dweezer19 says:

    Magnificence from madness. Even temporary madness. ?

  • aj vosse says:

    Aaahhh… to doodle! Another of life’s elixirs! 😉

  • abhijit says:

    Hope you are doing well now. this is Tim of season change. Flu is quite prevalent.

  • jesbinjohn says:

    Are you monetizing your blog?

  • aparna gupta says:

    That was mindless scribbling? Fabulous! Just proves our ability to create when we shut the outside up. Great job Damyanti!

  • Natasha says:

    That is some mind-blowing art D. Do you doodle on paper too? Would love to see those.

    Hope the sun is shining upon you now, and the gloomy days have disappeared with the wispy clouds.

    Sending you much love.

    I’m glad we had the conversation yesterday. See I’m here. 🙂 Ha! Ha!

    Happiness Hugs <3

  • Amit Kumar says:

    For me, cooking has been my go-to stress reliever. I get so immersed in it that I forget all worries. And so also are clay modelling and photography.

  • msw blog says:

    Great doodles and glad your on the mend.

  • Unishta says:

    Oh dear! Not walking and not reading must be like a punishment! But it’s good that you found out about this app…. Must try it sometime. What is it? When I want to unwind, I generally go for a walk. Else I call up a friend and have a good chat.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      I was too sick to walk or read, so doodles hit the spot. The app is ArtRage. It has a lot of different brushes/ pencils etc. Love it.

  • J. W. Donley says:

    I tend to put on some of my favorite music. I have my favorite bands and albums that seem to put me in the right mood to get some writing in.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      I can’t write to music, but it is great for chores and walks!

  • That’s interesting. So no pen and paper? That speaks volumes.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      I was too weak to handle pen and paper—keep track of colour pencils. This was non-messy and easy 🙂

  • simonfalk28 says:

    You know I love walking, Damyanti. Plus, for me it is doctor’s orders! Glad you’re back into things again.. walking and writing.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks, Simon. Yes, I enjoy your pictures taken on your walks. I cherish my walks, as well.

  • I loved your “doodles”. I like playing music really loud and dancing around the house. That normally gets me my good mood back. Or baking something. Unless I screw it up and then my bad mood returns tenfold.

  • hilarymb says:

    Hi Damyanti – I’m glad you’re coming to – and feeling somewhat better. Life can be challenging … I’m lucky I enjoy good health – but should get out and walk more … the weather is getting warmer this week – so that will push me out. I’m ‘permanently’ busy going to talks, films, et al … but I find it frustrating that I do not enjoy knitting (or crocheting, or embroidery), and probably need to start multi-tasking instead of crashing in a heap … adjustments need to be made. Thank goodness I can relax quite easily … I don’t get het up now-a-days … twenty to thirty years ago things were different … take care and get back to normal as soon as possible. As another blogger mentioned – you look so calm in the photo above – cheers and enjoy the week ahead – Hilary

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks, Hilary. Glad to hear that talks and films are keeping you busy, which means you’re having fun. I think multi-tasking is a myth–we just need to do things one after the other, deeply and with no distractions. We get more done that way, and feel less stressed.

  • Mahika says:

    Wow !! You have a splendid blog !! Do read my new post Run of the mill and follow my blog if you like

  • M K Zebra says:

    I like to go walking too, but the weather here has not been fantastic. I’m lucky that, having writing as a hobby, that is actually my go-to thing to become less stressed.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Yes, walking helps me write better. As does baking. Hope the weather improves and you can go on long, meditative walks,

  • gadgetrush says:

    I see to it that every weekends, I unwind myself by taking a short walk, jog and even play basketball… Thanks for reminding us how to unwind.


    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Yes, we need to be mindful about the need to unwind. Physical activities can be very de-stressing.

  • I like to exercise to unwind whether it be treadmill, walking or gardening. Very relaxing. So sorry to hear you have not been well. I could never imaging you doing a tizzy fit. You look so peaceful in your photo. 🙂

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks, Ian. I can, and do go into tizzy fits. They may or may not involve bawling. I’m calm most days–so I’m pleased to report that the picture is not entirely misleading. (though it does look better than I do in real life.)

      • Damyanti you are talented, compassionate and gorgeous so you should feel blessed people appreciate all these traits in you. Letting off steam once in a while does not in any way detract from what people perceive in you. 🙂

  • mpuppal says:

    Interesting take!

  • DutchIl says:

    Well, the key is not to get wound up to begin with… 🙂 just awaken in the morning and deal with life’s challenges with the knowledge one has at that time knowing there will be a tomorrow… “Any piece of knowledge I acquire today has a value at this moment exactly proportioned to my skill to deal with it. Tomorrow, when I know more, I will recall that piece of knowledge and use it better. “ Mark van Doren

    As for me, to connect with my inner-self, I use meditation and Tia-Chi.. 🙂

  • I do embroidery

  • jenanita01 says:

    You have made me realise that I need something to help me unwind. When I do switch off the pc, I expect it to happen by magic. These days, this is not happening, so I must find something to do…

  • Meg says:

    I like sketching repetitive geometric designs. Or other small detailed types of drawing or painting. The repetition is almost meditative and most of the time results in an interesting piece of art! I can’t concentrate on reading when I don’t feel well, either.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Yes, I tried something like that, but not geometric, which resulted in this doodle.

  • ccyager says:

    When I’m sick and can’t concentrate to read, I watch what I call “stupid TV” — reruns of old shows, usually things I’ve seen before but liked. I especially like police procedurals or mysteries. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been in that place again. I’m glad you’re feeling better. I’ve been dealing with a crazy neighbor keeping me up at night with loud music and banging on the walls. And ice on the sidewalks and streets — treacherous walking. I’m iced in today and could not make it to work! Take care of yourself.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      I’ve been reading about your neighbour saga–just so glad you’re safe, and things are a little better now. Thanks for dropping by and your comment, Cinda.

      • ccyager says:

        She seems to have calmed down now that she faces possible eviction if she acts up again. I feel very fortunate that she didn’t assault me physically.

  • To unwind, I read, Damyanti. I get too intense about doodling. Ha ha. I’m glad you’re feeling better. Take care fo yourself.

  • Debbie D. says:

    I’m glad you’re feeling better now. 🙂 Music is my magic calming elixir but walks are good also. Then there’s Netflix binge-watching – great for sick days.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thank you :). TV seems to make me feel more sick somehow–am glad I’m well enough to walk about now.

  • katiegirl06460 says:

    Well, I come home and relax in front of the tv. Alot. When I get done with that I get on the computer and write, and or surf the net. When my walking meetups start I go to them. I go to coffee meet ups once a week and different activities like that.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      TV and me are somehow not a great mix–I love the idea of meetups though, when I’m not feeling unwell. I need to get out more, but the writing life can be pretty monastic sometimes.

  • Those are colorful!
    I jog every day, plus play my guitar. Both are very relaxing.
    Glad you’re feeling better.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Yeah, jogging and playing music can both be very meditative. I’m back to walking again now, so all is good with the world.

  • Lynda Dietz says:

    Walking helps me unwind, and so does music. I honestly enjoy practicing piano stuff that I’m prepping for work, and the feeling of accomplishment when I figure something out and then make it sound decent allows me a satisfaction that’s very restful.

    I love your doodles! The coloring gives them a light, happy feeling.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks, Lynda! Didn’t know you played the piano. Would love to hear you play–I’m completely unmusical–no playing or singing–but I love listening to music.

  • these are great! love the colours… What App have you used?

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks, Nathalie. It is an app called ArtRage, and I’m sure foolks doing more than doodling and with the right training and practice can do amazing work on it.

  • Joy Pixley says:

    I like to go for walks to unwind too, and to sing songs out loud at home. If I was stuck in bed and couldn’t read… I’d probably watch a favorite old DVD or two. I almost never have the time to watch movies or my old TV shows (e.g., Star Trek), so being sick is a great excuse to veg out and re-watch old favorites.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      I did try to Netflix it but it wasn’t for me, and made me all the more anxious, somehow.

      • Joy Pixley says:

        If I’m anxious, watching new movies I’m not sure about can make it worse. So I stick to re-watching old favorites, where I know what to expect (and it won’t be so bad if I blur out and miss some of the dialogue).