Every morning in our house, while I’m doing the breakfast Mike downloads and prints out the puzzles from The Times. There’s the Suduko for him (difficult and fiendish) and the Word Wheel for me.
Then over bowls of muesli, a pot of tea, for me, and a cup of coffee for him, we put ourselves through our individual brain gyms.
My target is always to find the number of words that put me in the average category. Once I’ve achieved this, I might go on to good, or even very good, but if I don’t manage that at least I’ve jumped the first hurdle.
Some mornings I romp through and have finished before the teapot is empty. Other days the process takes far more time. Typically, I’ll get quite close to my target and then come to a complete stop.
I used to keep staring at the page, or looking at individual words and seeing if they gave me any clues, but now I have discovered that the best technique is like a cat sneaking up on its prey I pretend to turn my attention to something else. Going into the kitchen to fetch more milk works, or scanning The Guardian on line can do the trick. Or giving the puzzle a quick sideways glance.
Leaving it lying on the table is good too and it’s amazing the number of times I’ve done this, then during the day discovered more and more words until I’m beyond average and far into the realm of good.
It’s a bit like struggling to find inspiration for a story, or indeed a blog. Walk away, do something else and the ideas will flow. Just as they have for this blog.
PS thanks Ke-vin for the brilliant cat image.
Reblogged this on Jan Edwards.