As I am not a “full-time” writer, and considering my job is quite hour intensive, writer’s block hits me hard because I have little time to write as it stands. I say this because, when I do suffer from the dreaded block, I tend to chain myself to my desk, pounding out words like I’m attempting to break through the block by slamming my head against it. At least, that was my old approach.
A couple of weekends ago, I was dancing my old writers block dance—staring at my excessively large monitor, eyes tired, mind weak. I was wrangling with two plot points I knew connected, but I could not figure out how they connected. After nearly an hour of rotating between a blank page and various Wikipedia pages, I decided I needed a break. I needed to get outside and sweat, so I went for a jog.
Jogging presents an interesting conundrum for me. Truly, I don’t like to jog. The voices of my former high-school coaches rain down upon my psyche with each step. “Take a lap, Huebinger!” But, I also have some of my greatest creative epiphanies while ambling along the various streets of my neighborhood. And within the first mile of my three mile jog, I broke through the writer’s block and discovered the “connection” I had been seeking.
Most of the second mile I spent chastising myself for not figuring out the plot connection sooner. It was right in front of your face, I thought. The third mile, however, was different as my mind wandered to how I find inspiration for my writing.
As I finished my run, I realized that I had never experienced as a true moment of “inspiration” at my desk. I came up with the idea for FATE’S PAST while driving down a beautifully scenic road in Oregon. I told my wife my thoughts that formed the basis for my current work-in-progress in a Sonoma vineyard after several glasses of pinot noir. And while walking across the Golden Gate Bridge, I thought up the idea for my short story “The Accidental Savior.”
Mind you, I do not intend to speak for all writers. This is just how I find inspiration. And for me, inspiration is everywhere but the desk.
So, I guess the CliffNotes version of the above is that I’ve found inspiration here:
But never here…