When I'm writing anything, thinking time is essential.
I don't have a contract requiring a book a year, so if I hit a brick wall in my novel, I can do something else while my subconscious works on the issue.
But when you have a theme, and a short deadline for submission, as in a flash or short story competition, I find my creative brain freezes.
Sometimes it will unlock and I get the writing needed done. Other times it melts a bit but still leaves a big frozen chunk in the middle and little progress is made- like the short story I needed last week.
So I've been considering methods to help me improve how many pieces I submit- to a good standard of writing, of course.
I have a few competition that I want to enter with specific themes- with deadlines from the end of this month onward.
So I've decided to try writing the theme words on a bit of card or coloured paper, and pining them to the small cork board I have resting against the wall- it's just within eyesight on my desk; so I'll see if keeping the words within sight assists the creative process.
I won't have the excuse that I forgot the details, or the date it's needed by, if it's always there.
And it should ensure that the thinking time is taking place, even if I am doing something else.
If you have any methods you find particularly useful, it would be interesting to hear them.