Sometimes, I wonder if I have a screw loose. You know the phenomena of reaching for a word, only to find a blank space where the word was just a moment before? Like the way a cockroach waits for a light to be switched on so they can flee the scene of the crime. I'm sure it happens to us all. But it happens to me a lot. Last blog post as a matter of fact, I took to Twitter and Facebook looking for a word that refused to pop into my head when I needed it. The word was Mercenary.
I notice more words scuttling under the cabinets when I haven't been reading as much as I usually do. Stephen King said it best.
"If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
There is something about immersing yourself in fiction that is good for writing. I think reading stimulates the right parts of the brain: turning words on the page into pictures in your head. And no doubt judging the quality of the images created. How well does the author weave the story into pictures? Do you have to supply your own voice in your head, or is it there on the page? How quickly does the story unfold? Is the description adequate, purple or lacking?
In other words, how much work do I have to do for myself, and how much is on the page? How much brain muscle do I have to flex? Now when I turn mah brains to my own work, if I've been flexing that reading/imagining muscle it is much easier to make my own head movies.
Clearly, I have not been flexing enough brain muscle.