The story line isn’t written on the wall. Unlike the Biblical account, no matter how hard I stare, no hand appears to write Dan out of the tar pit he’s gotten himself trapped in, again. Sheesh!
This is for those of you, if you’re like me, who struggle, at times, to get collect the right words from that pile of scrabble tiles tumbling inside your cranium.
You type, think, type, backspace, type, stare at the wall; time slips past and the hands of the clock have suddenly moved alarmingly close to quitting time. For me, that’s when the rest of the household gets up. It’s that dreadful wormhole again! Sucking time and productivity into an eternal vacuum. There’s no fix for it, no way to simply remove a filter and shake it out. It’s lost, forever.
Those who know me, are aware that physical fitness is a huge part of my life. I devote a great deal of time to developing the three key physical fitness elements: strength, cardio, and flexibility.
Recently, an idea came to me, as I waited for that magic hand to reveal the ‘golden nugget’.
I decided to incorporate a technique I’ve often used in my workouts, into my writing. Some of you may be familiar with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). Simply put, the idea is to go hard for a brief period of time, and then continue exercising, but at a slower pace. This has proven, and I’ve benefited personally, to be a more effective and time efficient way of exercising than traditional forms. The ratio of time spent going hard to slowing down, are dependent upon fitness levels and goals.
I thought you were talking about writing, not running, Bierman. I am, well now I am. I’ve discovered, for me, at least, that the same principles can be used in writing life.
No more staring at walls or scratching my head, trying to squeeze out the next sentence. These days, I write and read, in intervals. I’ll work on my WIP for fifteen minutes to half an hour, and then switch to reading blogs for about ten to fifteen minutes, before writing again.
I find reading the excellent work of others, and their different approaches to wordsmithing, very stimulating. It gives me a chance to ‘let someone else take the wheel.’
No matter how much you love to write, and I do, creating something out of nothing can be mentally draining. This method allows for a break, while keeping your creative side working in the background.
I read blogs because they are short, and I can finish them within the allotted time frame. Blogs also give you the chance to read material from different authors, thus stimulating your brain to a greater extent.
You may have your own preference, such as Twitter, Facebook, or some other social media platform. I would advise against reading a book, as it can get intertwined with your work, and it should be something you can finish within the timeframe.
I hope you’ve found this post helpful. If you have any techniques that you use, please share them here.