Trusting my subconscious to beat writers block
In my last post How I beat writers block – in my garden haven. I talked about how I don’t often get stuck for words or ideas, but when I do, I try and beat writers block by refilling my spring of creativity in my garden haven.
With the pressure off, ideas bubbled in my brain. Three blog posts and a new section for the non-fiction book I’m writing flew in and took a hold. Nothing arrived on how to progress the novella, but I was sure my subconscious would work on it. And it did 🙂
It started out a regular Saturday morning. A cup of tea in bed, a potter in the garden, thinking about housework that needs doing – and thinking about whether to do the housework or whether to write while my husband Stephen is out for his usual Saturday afternoon racing.
But then Stephen said, “it’s too windy to go racing. Let’s go to the guitar shop instead.”
I agreed in exchange for Stephen vacuuming down all of the cobwebs from the ceiling, in addition to vacuuming the floors like he normally does. He grumbled before agreeing, but it seemed like a fair deal to me!
We just ate a decadent lunch at one of our favorite French patisseries. I had blueberry hotcakes, with lashings of maple syrup, mascarpone cheese and a scattering of strawberry slices. My husband chose orange-zested-crêpes filled with nutella, drenched in maple syrup, and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
I don’t feel the slightest bit guilty 🙂 It was delicious 🙂
So here I am, back in the guitar shop (it’s a fairly regular outing, the guitar playing staff feel more like friends than shop staff. They are all musicians and like Stephen, passionate about great guitars). Stephen loves his guitars, and loves trying new guitars at his favorite guitar shop, The Acoustic Center. I’m listening to him playing, and thinking I should write a short story involving music. A guitarist playing small gigs in city pubs. Working in a guitar shop to make ends meet, or maybe working somewhere else, somewhere quite different to guitars and music.
Taking advantage of the muse when it calls
On the drive into the city I was lulled into a state of half sleep. Ideas to strengthen the opening of my novella popped into my head. Perhaps it should have been a writing afternoon. Or perhaps if I hadn’t half dozed in the car, and was instead staring at the computer screen, the ideas wouldn’t have come! That’s the way it is sometimes. The Muse kicks into action when I don’t have pen and paper or phone to hand.
Using Siri to talk into Evernote on my phone does work a treat, but isn’t always possible. Other customers in the guitar shop are looking at me with undisguised curiosity already. Luckily I usually have a notebook in my handbag, and a selection of colored pens. I’ve written down the novella ideas, so now I’m doodling short story possibilities.
A comment on one of my Facebook posts has got me thinking about using my real-life paranormal – the one about the see-through girl – and turning it into a short story. It would basically be the same, but with a fictional ending where I spoke to the spirit to try to help her. Perhaps I get pulled into something unpleasant, or just weird?
Ideas swirl, faster than I can record them. Snatches of dialogue, an evocative description, a plot-hole plugged, a key moment foreshadowed in an earlier chapter. When I want to record whatever is in my head I use Siri to dictate an audio record into Evernote. It’s easy to play it back and jot down what I want to keep, or dictate it straight into dragon.
With a smart phone, and a small number of free apps, there is no excuse for not recording ideas to break through writers block no matter where you are.
I use a smart phone with Siri, The free Evernote app on my phone, and a small notebook with several colored pens (because black ink on white paper is boring :D)
What do you do to encourage ideas and record them as they come?