Imagine the scene…you’re staring at your computer and you know what you want to say but will those words come?
No, of course they won’t.
You try harder, you type a few lines but still it doesn’t feel right.
You get frustrated. Yesterday the words flowed from your finger tips but today those fingers feel like lead.
Ever been there? I’m sure we all have.
One great tip that I was given for such a moment is to go for a walk. It doesn’t have to be far and it doesn’t have to be anywhere exciting, it just gives everything a break for a while and allows the endorphins to do their thing which, incidentally, they are great at doing.
On one such occasion I went for a walk down the main road which is a short distance from my house. A ladder was leaning up against the wall of one of the small two-up, two-down terraced dwellings along this road and the pavement on which the foot of the ladder was resting was narrow. This left anyone walking along the pavement with two choices: to walk around the ladder and onto the main road or to walk underneath the ladder and remain on the pavement. I watched for a moment and was unsurprised to see every single person step into the main road rather than walk underneath the ladder – clearly the most dangerous option. So, why did they all do that?
In the UK there is a superstition that says you will bring bad luck upon yourself if you walk underneath a ladder. There is also a superstition that says you should never stroke a black cat with green eyes, nor should you open an umbrella indoors. It is also considered bad luck to have a bird relieve itself upon your head and if you break a mirror – well, you’re in the mire for seven years. I think I was out walking for less than half an hour but by the time I returned home my brain fog had cleared and I had the bones of an idea for an article about superstitions, purely from a ladder leaning against a wall.
I know it feels like all our time is precious and that we should take advantage of every possible writing moment that we have, yet it really is amazing how taking just a few moments out to observe our surroundings can kick start the creative flow. Try it next time you’re stuck.
Oh, and I guess it’s not bad for our health, either.