“There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it's like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.”
So said American novelist Ernest Hemingway.
And writing can be like that. It flows effortlessly one day, but the next our creativity is encased in solid rock that needs to be drilled and blasted to let our brave words and phrases be free.
I have often wondered why this is. Sometimes I can attribute it to tiredness, general fatigue, either physical or with the world in general. Everything is just too hard. Life is impossible, the world is horrid, I want to crawl into a hole and pull blankets over my head.
On days like this, I will sit down with a truly gruesome murder mystery to read about people who are worse off than me (usually dead) and I don't get any writing done. I give up and say, as Scarlett O'Hara did in Gone With the Wind after shooting dead a Union soldier in the foyer of her war-wrecked, once grand plantation home Tara, and wondering what to do with the body: "I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow."
Other days the inspiration just won't come - but that's no excuse to pack it in for the day, no sir. I know that if I wait for the muse to visit, I won't write another thing as long as I live. I get around this one by walking about in the front yard (if the sun is out), or talking to the cat if she's inside, or I'll make a cup of tea. Distraction. Takes my mind off the no-inspiration problem for just long enough for me to return to the keyboard, mind refreshed.
And on those days when I sit down to write something and I can't think of a thing to write about, I use that old stand by, the weather. That has always been my kick-starter. A cloudy day can remind me of a walk on the beach with a friend on either side, supporting me during a time of recovery from illness; a day of sunshine brings back our maiden voyage in a small sailboat, my friend and I 11 years old, off the Murrays Bay beach, getting blown way out and then not knowing how to turn around ('come about'); thunder reminds me of a time in the north Georgia mountains (USA) working as a courier, delivering a package in the country store of a small rural town as the thunder rolled presaging a summer storm and the lady behind the counter saying, "Here it comes a-thunder boomin' again."
What works for you? Drills? Blasting powder? Murder books? Ice cream?
Or all of the above?