Although I maintain that I don't believe in writer's block, experience forces me to admit that the words don't always flow like water from a tap. My personal writing pattern often goes something like this: Pull out the notepad, scribble five-hundred-or-so words and -- bam! -- run right into that proverbial brick wall. Sure, it isn't a proper block. After all, I'm able to get something useful down most of the time. But often I find myself wishing that a few more paragraphs would dribble onto the page.
That desire surfaced last week when I found myself stuck in the middle of a lousy scene, every line of dialogue coming out as flat as day-old soda. Fine, it wasn't working, I'd do something else. I grabbed a list of errands I needed to run, hopped into my aging vehicle and pulled out of the driveway. And soon after, something strange started to happen. As I navigated the turgid south Florida streets, the ideas began to flow again.
Merlin Mann of 43 Folders once suggested resorting to repetitive physical activities to bust through mental clogs, anything from short walks to routine chores to push ups performed at predetermined periods. Inadvertently, that was exactly what I had done with my driving. Occupying my hands and feet had somehow given my mind freedom to focus on what I wanted it to. A trip around the block may not solve every compositional dilemma, but I'm to give it a try next time everything seizes up prematurely.
(Picture: CC 2009 by eflon)