Friday, July 11, 2014

Pie in the Sky or Becoming Unstuck

Blocked. Stuck. Waiting for the Muse. Every writer has to develop ways to overcome the obstacles to writing. Here are a few of the things that I have tried:

·        Lie down for a nap
·        Go for a drive
·        Take a walk
·        Weed a flower bed
·        Cook something

I know what you’re thinking—laying down for a nap is pure hedonism. I’ll admit there’s a certain element of indulgence involved, but more often than not, it works out in my favor. I’ll be stewing over a scene, a bit of dialogue, or need some character development and when I close the door, darken the room, and tune out the world my subconscious mind kicks in and the answers come to me. It’s pretty neat when it works. On those other times, I wake up refreshed and ready to go back to work.

Going for a drive is another way to get to the subconscious, but I can’t do it the way I used to when I lived in Bishop Hill. Back then it was a 15 minute drive to Galva, 25 minutes to Kewanee, and 40 minutes to Galesburg. Since the roads didn’t usually have that much traffic, I could shift the mental gears to automatic and let the brain wonder a bit. (Unless it was deer season of course and you have to stay with the here and now.)

Since moving to the big city, I can’t drive like that anymore. I’m watching the cars in front of me, on either side, and behind. I’m waiting for the lights to change and trying not to get lost. Definitely not the time to relax and seek the Muse.

That leaves the healthiest choice—walking. I walk. I get ideas. I solve problems. I get exercise. What’s not to like?

I do think walking in Bishop Hill was easier. I walked to the post office. I walked to work. I walked to visit people. I walked for lunch. It was much easier to get “out and about” as an old coffee buddy used to say.

Bishop Hill had the ideal set up. The centrally located green space, actually a state park, was perfect for walking laps. Once around the park was a quarter mile loop. Work your way out to the next circle of streets and you added another quarter mile. Because of Bishop Hill’s smallness, there were only two more loops to be had, so you could work up to a mile and a half. Anything more required some creativity or branching off onto the country roads.

I’m getting better at taking walks in the city. I’m finding my way around the local neighborhoods. I can make it to the closest shopping center, the big mall, and even the YMCA. 

The last items on my list can explain themselves. The cooking, and the eating, can be healthy—or not.

Now, my main outlet is making gluten free bread. A much better alternative to what I used to call the “Bishop Hill pie diet.” Imagine the three o’clock doldrums within easy reach of five restaurants and their dessert menus. It often gave me an added incentive to walk the long way home and ponder other scenarios and better choices. 

1 comment:

  1. I have a new entry for my list: solving a Sudoku. I worked one this morning and came away with two worthwhile ideas.