Travel, drink, relax, walk away, listen to music...basically take my mind away from what I need to do.
For example, I really struggled with the third major character in Complicated Creatures Part One, because I couldn’t visualize him clearly in my head. When I wrote his character sheet, I had a lot of conflicting personality traits and his motives were unclear even to me. So what did I do? I stopped writing. When in doubt, consume a libation and take a break. That’s a trusted go-to.
I didn’t want to read someone else’s work while I was having trouble writing my own, so I ended up surfing around for the “best-written TV shows” according to the Writer’s Guild of America, and stumbled upon Friday Night Lights. I hadn’t loved the movie when it came out years ago, so I’d discounted the series. I decided to give it a try. After all, I already had a cold beer in my hand and football season hadn’t started yet. I was in Asia and feeling a little homesick for some good old-fashioned Americana, and I ask you, “What’s more American than high school football”? I watched episode one of the first season, saw Timothy Riggins’ character calling out, “Texas forever”, and BAM! There’s the third character I couldn’t figure out an hour earlier.