Sometimes it’s really easy to write. Words almost seem to tumble over themselves in their haste to exit my brain and leap onto the page/screen. Those are the productive days – and even if the subject matter is sometimes a little sombre, the joy of self-expression wins out.

Then there are the other days – the days when the blank screen (or journal) looks at me… and I stare right back. It’s frustrating. That’s when social media or Internet browsing seems a LOT more productive than passively sitting and waiting for words to emerge.

And sometimes it is. Sometimes something I read or see sparks some little flame that spurs me on to getting moving again. By and large though, the thing that works best for me is to go outside and wander around in the garden (any garden, really) for a while. So much the better if the sun’s shining, but it’s not a requirement.

The act of acknowledging the block and then getting up and walking away from it for a while is a healing action in its own right. Going outdoors, spending a few minutes (or more, if time allows) in my happy place – a garden – energises me. It also engages a different part of my brain, giving the writing-me some time out to swim around in the sea of ideas in my head without having to do anything about them.

By the time I come back indoors I’m usually smiling. Settling back at my desk with a cup of tea, I feel refreshed and am usually ready to get back to whatever it was that I abandoned. If not, I take my journal, a pen and my tea back outside with me – and write about something else instead to break the cycle.

I’ve written some very odd things in these tea-in-the-sun moments, and have incorporated most of them into a larger narrative at some point. Mission accomplished, I reckon.

My winter garden 2016

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