John Hansen is a crime author with a wise ass bent. Exhibit 1: His blog is named The Incessant Droning of a Bored Writer. His e-books focus on crime flash fiction, and it sounds like he'll be contributing to Trestle Press's upcoming crime anthology.
I wanted to contribute to that anthology, but I had contracted a. terrible case of writer's block. Good thing Dr. Hansen set me straight, and Trestle Press now has my submission.
Here is his prescription that cured what ailed me.
What about you? How do you cure writer's block?
You do something else. Anything. Play dominos . . . . hang glide . . . argue with the missus. When what you're trying to write is ready to be written, it'll tell you. And then it'll just flow out of you.
Years ago, I was in Portland, Oregon on a business trip. I had four hours to get back to Seattle for radiation therapy. If you were ten minutes late, they went on to the next client and you were in danger of having to start the treatment all over again. It took at least three and a half hours to drive the distance. Then you had to park, walk to the clinic, check-in, and all that stuff. Getting to therapy on time depended on finding a parking place immediately in a very busy part of town, something I'd not done before.
On the way, I listened to a story on the radio about a man who could always, always get a parking place in downtown Manhattan, nearly impossible. His method was to expect there would be a parking place and like magic it appeared. He'd been doing it for years.
On the way to therapy, I began telling myself that there would be a parking place. And bango, there it was, right in front of the clinic. For real. I made my appointment on time and all was well. Since then, twenty-seven years ago, I still find parking places, every time because I expect I will.
So just expect that you will find a story,everyday. Like the one above. It might make a good flash story.
I go out to somewhere busy, surround myself with other people and listen to their conversations. Almost always, something I hear triggers an idea. It helps to have another job besides writing. Although I have less time to write, I'm exposed to all kinds of situations and people, which generates plenty of ideas. My co-workers can't help suggesting motives and methods of murder for my upcoming books.