How the sense of smell can knock the stuffing out of writer’s block

The other day I was trying to come up with a feel for a scene. I could almost see it. I could almost touch it. But as luck would have it, it slipped through my fingers.

I decided to call it a day and run some errands. One of those errands required a run to the grocery store. The produce aisle, to be exact.


I remember turning down an aisle surrounded by berries and melons. Suddenly the scene I had given up on came alive.

Now I could see it. I could hold it in my hand. But most of all I was there.

The smell of berries reminded me of my hometown and because of that my mind turned to the direction it needed.


So what just happened?

Why did this tiny little experience get me over the hump? The berries had nothing to do with my story, nor did my hometown.

But somewhere in the darkest corner of my mind an emotion was stirred and with it the scene I was looking for came alive.

Unfortunately it doesn’t work every time but when it does I’m on top of the world. Give me the smell of sawdust or raspberries or certain perfumes and you will witness the disintegration of the world’s largest writer’s block.

explosion 1

Yes, it’s messy.


A Mind of its Own

But this wonderful mystery plays by its own rules. A sense of humor if you will and in a blink of an eye it will disappear. Sometimes for weeks.

But I don’t mind because it always comes back. Sure, its little game of hide and seek is annoying but I’ll take it. Sometimes a surprise visit is better than no visit at all.

So the next time your story is at a standstill follow your nose. Seek out that smell from yesteryear. It may have nothing to do with the work at hand but it will calm you and take you down the path you need.



Happy Friday Everyone!!!


21 thoughts on “SPONTANEOUS FRIDAY

  1. Smells get me every time. I don’t know if I’m actually smelling them, or my mind is remembering something that was associated with that smell and recreates the experience. Very powerful! Funny how you have included a photo of an old shed – the smell of enamel paint always reminds me of my Dad and his workshop ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Wendy!

      When I found that photo I was pleasantly surprised. It resembled my grandfather’s old shop. All of his tools. The smell of sawdust and diesel. Those are such powerful memories.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right Dan. My grandmother’s sisters were heavy smokers and wore lots of perfume. Neither one is exactly my favorite but if I combine the two my heart melts. It brings back some of my favorite memories.

      Liked by 1 person

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