Finding the ways to fill the time
I had a bit of a crazy idea, but I have test-driven it and enjoy the results so…
As a way of tricking writer’s block, of loosening my paralysis and getting words on the screen, I have begun writing my daily diary through the life and in the world of my character.
This isn’t just writing about my day, and subbing in the character’s name. The character has their own personality, their own way of reacting to circumstances. For example, I take out the rubbish in the morning, but if I had a really dominating or rich character, they might demand their peon do it, or they might be a pot-smoker who ignores the overflowing, “garbage worm” in their kitchen.
In a fantasy or sci fi world, or even a different real world country or social echelon, the mechanics are going to be different. They might be a hermit in the woods who has to be careful about bears, or have a huge reptilian pet that eats all their scraps (or… you know, a guinea pig) so the process helps colour in the environment for you, the author, even if the reader never has to know exactly how the bin gets emptied in your story-universe. The point of writing this like a personal diary is that no one needs to see it, and you can safely ignore your inner editor.
As often happens when you actually begin to write, some good ideas will be loosened from the subconscious. Sometimes, by relaxing and not stressing too much over crafting a particularly well-written line, they will come unbidden.
But even if nothing comes of it, you are practicing your craft, and writing, like everything, needs to be practiced to be perfected.
Hopes this is helpful to other people too!