There are days when the creative tap only drips. Here’s a tip: put aside the Big Project for a few hours, grab a notepad and pen and head outside. Be a reporter. Don’t write fancy sentences or big ideas or pretty metaphors. Just describe what you see and hear in straightforward reportage. Transcribe an overheard conversation on the streetcar. Describe the clothes someone is wearing at the bus stop. List the items the guy ahead of you has in his shopping cart. Just… write. It’s amazing how the physical act of translating the seen and heard into words can open things up and get you back to the Big Project with the taps wide open.
Andrew Pyper is an award-winning and bestselling author of several novels, including The Demonologist. He has also taught creative writing at Trent University, the University of Toronto and Colorado College.