Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Writer's Block

Been quiet for awhile cause I'm writing... make that, trying to write.  This is what I do when I find myself sitting at my desk totally blocked.

- Begin anywhere.  Sometimes the first sentence doesn't come first.

- Write a crummy first draft, cut out the boring parts, write a slightly better second draft.

- Clean my house.  When I'm stuck in shades of gray, it's extremely satisfying to clean.  There's no gray in cleaning.  First it's dirty, then it's clean.  When a friend stops by during the day and I'm vacuuming, they usually know I'm stuck. If the baseboards are clean, they know I'm in big trouble.

- Take my dog for a walk. Monty is down 5 pounds and extremely fit right now. We found an old cemetery near my house we like.   I've gotten some of my best ideas there (makes me wonder if I am getting a little extra help.)

- Drive somewhere that takes at least an hour.  There's something about the scenery rolling by while the rest of me is stationary, and the knowledge that I can't be interrupted or distracted by anything, that is inspirational.  A train ride is the best because I don't have to navigate at all.  Beginning to fantasize about an Amtrak trip to the wild west for my horse book.

But the very best advice I ever got came from my friend, the late Michael Palmer, a NYT best selling author who wrote medical thrillers. He said, "Floss your teeth every morning. That way if you get nothing accomplished all day, at least you will have accomplished that."

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