If you tell someone to think outside the box, they can’t. But writers always think outside the box… But what box?
The box itself is a metaphor. The box can be anything. For me the box is my life. The physical life that I live, from waking to sleeping. Any writing I do has to occur outside this box because who wants to know what flavor my toothpaste is?
Interesting fact – toothpaste is mostly black before it is whitened and colored and made minty fresh. It is no different from the stuff that was used in the medieval ages – coal dust. Although now the abrasive element is more than likely given a spangly scientific name as ‘contains coal’ is not what you want to see on the side of a box.
The fact I can escape my box of a few hours a day keeps me sane. As I walk along a train station platform with a serial killer and help her pick a new victim, or take a tumble-down a slope trying to find my characters dad who got kidnapped and taken to a land below a lake, I am able to happily exist within my box. In reality I sometimes wonder if my imagination is the box and I am going beyond it just by living, but either way you look at it, I think outside the box.
We all do. Even if it only takes the form of day-dreaming, but then when I write all I am doing is day-dreaming on a page.