The one thing that never ceases to amaze me about a crossword puzzles is that I can sit for a long time ruminating on a particular clue and not have foggiest idea what the answer is and then the next day I’ll pick up that crossword puzzle and instantly know the answer.
I find this to be true for writing. I can sit and labor on a particular sentence and not like any words that come to mind, but then come back to it the next day and the right words just pop up. Sometimes a break is all you need. Just because you’re not consciously thinking about something doesn’t mean the clever synapses in the back of your head aren’t hard at work figuring it out for you.
That’s why I started using ( )
This is my secret for powering through when I get stumped. Instead of dwelling on the right word choice, or going online to research a point I want to make, I simple put down this mark: ( ), and decide to come back to it later. Sometimes ( ) stands for the perfect adjective that I can’t think of in the moment, and sometimes it’s a place holder for an entire scene I want to add in my novel. Sometimes I write a note to myself inside the parentheses, such as (make this less boring), or (add a quote here), but often they are just blank.
Our brains are amazing, complex (figure out a good noun), and they are capable of so much more than we realize. The next time you’re stumped, type ( ) and move on to something else. Your brain will fill in the gap when it’s good and ready.
- Oragasms: Better for your brain than crossword puzzles (newsfixnow.com)
- Puzzle master (thegazette.com)
- Word nerd (jamesshackell.com)