Unlikely writing techniques 3: put your pen down…


… or turn your computer off, whatever.

If I’m feeling a bit stuck, I try to get out of doors and do something that makes writing completely impractical. I go for a walk; I ride my bike; I go swimming. Sometimes I combine it with the technique described last week and walk four miles downstream to The Bridge (that’s the name of the pub) where I buy a pint of something interesting looking and sit down to talk to the book for an hour.

Quite often, I find that turning away from the blank page and the blinking cursor is enough to unstick whatever’s stuck. Words are perverse things: they hide in odd corners of my mind when I think I ‘should’ be writing, and come out when they think I can’t catch them. Sometimes whole sentences will form as I walk, or an important fact will make itself known. I don’t think I stopped dead in the middle of the path and exclaimed, ‘Oh! Gianna’s a silversmith!’ but it’s possible. It felt like sufficiently major breakthrough to justify that.

And at the very worst, even if I’m no further ahead with the current book, I tend to have realised that there is, in fact, more to life than the current book.

Talk of the Town

3 thoughts on “Unlikely writing techniques 3: put your pen down…”

  1. This is great advice. The only problem you have is making sure you have something to write on when inspiration strikes in the middle of a walk otherwise the idea is lost by the time you get home. I can’t tell you how often that happens to me lol.


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