You may have guessed that progress with my second novel is rather slow at the moment – hence all these displacement activities. I could write a book about writer’s block – 100 ways to beat the block. But would it be just another diversionary tactic? Watch this space.
Other things that are intruding on my time include trying to build up a supply of 400 word stories for the parish magazine and longer ones to read on the radio. If I can do that I’ll be free to concentrate on the novel for a while.
Anyway, here are a few more suggestions for beating the dreaded block.
Pay attention to your surroundings and let your imagination take over.
- How did that person come to be homeless?
- Who owns that abandoned shoe and how did they lose it?
- Who’s buried under that anonymous wooden cross in the churchyard?
- What horrible ailment brings that poor soul to the doctor’s surgery?
- Why are those two people so annoyed with each other?
Study other people and imagine them in different situations.
- Do they like dancing?
- Are they allergic to anything?
- What makes them shudder? Or giggle?
- Are they afraid of spiders? Or roller coasters? Or buttons?
- Do they like cheese? Or hate it?
Agatha Christie said that the best time for planning a book is while you’re washing the dishes. So, when none of the above is working, distract yourself.
- Trim the budgie’s beak
- Do the crossword, or some weeding
- Practice cartwheels round the yard
- Bake some bread
- Stare into space
- Spend that lottery win.
When you can’t see a way out of a problem, put it on the back burner and forget about it. Trust your brain to come up with a solution. Trust me – it will. Though I can’t guarantee that this won’t be at 3am, so keep that notebook by your bed, just in case. Who needs sleep, anyway?