writer | wanderer | photographer

There’s a church in Pécs (my hometown, and where I’m currently, albeit temporarily, staying), called the Havas Boldogasszony-templom (Church of Our Lady of the Snows) or “Havihegyi templom” as to locals call it. It’s a landmark, photographed a lot.

Here’s a shot I took in… August, I think? (God, Greg, look at the damn metadata! <checks notes> August, yes.)

The area is a popular destination, so the church has been photographed a lot from certain vantage points and angles. Including this one above. A fairly standard shot.

But if you walk around, you can still keep the church as your subject and get some not-so-usual photos.

Enter today’s Unblock Challenge prompt.

Change your space.

Changing space in photography is a common prompt. You’d think it was so common, that it’s no longer useful. Yet it is. Granted, I’m not a pro photographer, but I do forget sometimes.

Anyway.

Changing space is useful advice in other creative endeavors as well. Or, at least as far as I’m concerned, it is in writing.

Neil Gaiman has a simple rule for writing:

I’m allowed to sit at my desk, I’m allowed to stare out at the world, I’m allowed to do anything I like, as long as it isn’t anything. Not allowed to do a crossword, not allowed to read a book, not allowed to phone a friend, not allowed to make a clay model of something. All I’m allowed to do is absolutely nothing, or write.

He says that staring into space gets old after a while, and writing is fun.

When you write, you “change space” from wherever you may be physically, and go into the space of your imagination. I know it’s a bit cheesy, but just as reading can transport you to new worlds, so can writing.

But okay, let’s not go that far. How about: sitting in a different room? Go out to a coffee shop? Basically go anyplace but the one you’re used to write in.

Or okay, let’s not get physical. How about: changing the scene you’re writing? Changing the location of the same scene? Basically change the space in your writing.

Or okay, let’s talk genre. How about: taking a sci-fi story and putting it in a fantasy space?

Changing spaces not only gives you a new perspective, it gives you a, surprise!, new space. The environment is different. The sensations are different. It prods your brain into a state of change, pushing the stale and frustrating out. It’s like opening a window in a stuffed room.

I like changing spaces. They keep me inspired, entertained, challenged. It’s my go-to whenever I feel stuck creatively. Sure, I can overdo it (and have overdone it) to the point of not finishing anything in any space. But that’s another issue, that does not invalidate the usefulness of the prompt.

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