Last night I discovered a new tool: Writing by firelight. I’ve had this section of my WIP that I wanted to rewrite, but haven’t been able to find the right words. I’ve tried different strategies: timed writing, daydreaming, clustering, I’ve even tried to re-write this section while hanging out with my friends at an Oscar party. (Admittedly, this last method was not the smartest idea I’ve ever had. Though it might have been an effective use of my time, as I was really disappointed in this year’s telecast, for a number of reasons.)
But last night, I finally found the words. My sons were fast asleep; my husband was streaming Netflix. (It’s about time I let him have a turn.) I tossed another log into the fire; turned out the lights; and waited, pen in hand. And guess what? The words came.
Pages and pages, just like this. A phrase here, an image there. A whole sentence tossed in for good measure. I wrote and wrote by the firelight; I couldn’t even see the words. And I think this was the key. Since I couldn’t see the words, all expectations were lifted. My inner editor–that loves to remind me that pesky little things such as continuity and coherency actually matter–was silenced, and I was free to scratch away without any expectations.
So that’s my lesson for today. Next time I’m creatively blocked, I’ll add some wood to the fireplace, and turn out the lights.
What about you? When you’re blocked on a project, whether it’s writing or another endeavor, how do you get past it?