By Claire Booth
I worked in the yard yesterday. We’re going to put in a brick planter as part of some new landscaping, and everything needs to be put into place. Grunt work, basically.
And I was glad to do it, because I’ve got a plot point that is proving to be particularly knotty in the novel I’m writing, and I need to figure out a way through it. So it’s the perfect time to go dig in the dirt.
If I have an activity that requires some physical movement and just the right amount of brain power (not too much, not too little), then the writing problems move to the back of my brain. And that’s usually where they work themselves out. Yesterday, two-thirds of the way through my line of bricks, I figured out what one of my important secondary characters will do next. I hadn’t even technically been thinking about it, but the solution popped into my head as I was pondering the curve of the planter.
I’ll continue with the bricks today, because the planter’s nowhere near done. Neither is my novel. But taking a big step with the rote task has helped me take a big step with the creative one.