Finding Focus In Different Media

The Daily Post

The main medium for my creative energy is writing — whether I communicate with bloggers and editors, draft a post, or jot down something just for myself or a handful of close friends.

When I get stuck, though, one thing I almost always find useful is to stop thinking with and through words.

My default alternative is music. It might still contain verbs and nouns if it’s a voice-centric genre, but something about the abrupt transition from the written word to the clash of sounds often shakes me out of the writerly malaise I’m experiencing. Music, just like writing, often aims to convey emotion and tell a story, so hearing how a composer deals with these challenges can be incredibly illuminating.

It doesn’t have to be music, of course; it can be cooking, or playing a game, or solving a puzzle. Here is celebrated novelist Nicole Krauss, explaining how looking at visual art has helped her think about…

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