When I’ve reached the point where I’m groping for words or inspiration I walk downstairs, pick up the scissors and step out the front door. There I have two tubs and a hanging basket full off annuals, including beautiful cascades of surfinia.
I work round each tub quietly, mindfully, focussing all my attention on snipping off each dead or fading flower, giving the new blooms plenty of space to flourish. It reminds me of the editing and proof-reading process — trimming back extraneous words, chopping sub-clauses, giving phrases room to breathe. Does that sentence work? Could that be written more succinctly?
After a few minutes of mindful pruning my brain starts to unknot itself. The fog begins to lift. Words and phrases spark across my mind, and I realise it’s time to put the scissors down, close the door on the world and head back to my desk.