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It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.

John Steinbeck

Ever run into a problem that you just couldn’t solve? You work your tail off. You brainstorm. You put in place a plan of action. You still fail. It can be very frustrating.

Take a break. Give it a rest. The solution will reveal itself. Sometimes after a good night’s sleep. Sometimes after a good meal. Sometimes after you’ve put it aside for something more pleasurable. The subconscious mind is a powerful tool. It continues to work on the problem, even when you aren’t. That’s why this quote is so important. You can apply it to any problem, goal, or task.

I love Steinbeck. He was a great writer. He also had a pragmatic way of approaching his problems. His goal was writing one good page a day. That was it. If he wrote one good page in 15 minutes, he was done for the day. If it took him 3 hours, that’s was ok too.

I’m at that step in book writing called “scene creation”. It can be difficult. A story reveals itself to you as you work through it. Sometimes you hit a great way for your character to deal with something; other times you’re just drudging through the day, hoping for some inspiration.

I like to chip away at things. I don’t like to grind through 3 hours of misery. I do a little here today. I do a little more tomorrow. It works for me. It also lets me give my story some time to develop in my head, as I think about it throughout the day. My writing time is between 12 am and 3 am. I do my best to get as much done as possible on my blog, journal, letter writing, and working on my book. I do a bunch of other things as well, but the bulk of my 3 hours is writing anything and everything. It’s quiet, because my family is sleeping and when I get up I can socialize, run errands, and all the rest without worrying about what I have to do today because it is already done. The only things I do during the day are my exercise routine and my meditation practice.

Whether you are writing, composing music, writing a computer program, or struggling to come up with a solution to a problem. Give it some time. Go exercise, sleep on it, watch a show, or spend some time on something else that takes your mind off of things. You’ll be amazed at what you come up with when you return to your work.

Stay safe, stay informed, and follow the guidance of your local authorities.

Until next time…