If I were to ask you to describe a writer, what would your response be? If someone posed that question to me, initially I’d describe someone hard at work at a desk, typing, staring into a computer screen, or balling up wads of paper and tossing them into a wastebasket (perhaps as they tear at their hair in frustration).
All of those images are clear in my mind, but I also do a good share of writing away from my desk, computer, and paper. I clear stumbling blocks and find solutions to story issues on my bike, in my garden, and doing laundry. Kneading bread provided me with an excellent opportunity to get my main character into the low point of my story. If I know that I’m not at a point where I’m done writing for the day, then my focus stays with me even if my body leaves the office. I invite the story along as I take a bit of a break and I find that sometimes solutions present themselves away from my desk that would never have had the opportunity had I remained miserably slouched in my chair, waiting for inspiration or the answer that would never come.
I am certainly a believer in the “seat in the chair” method of getting the story down in some format – there is much to be said for that as opposed to staring at a blank screen while moaning in agony. Start typing/writing. Start anywhere. Just start. Once you get something down, no matter how bad it is, you have a starting point and you can move forward and edit from there. I’ve also learned to put my hair in a clip.