After several forced attempts in recent years to pick up my old passion for writing horror fiction, I was sure my creative days were over. Then a strange combination of a cycling accident and jigsaw puzzling changed all that.
Late one evening in early 2021, I decided to go for a pleasant bike ride. Towards the end of the ride, it took a very unpleasant twist as my pedal clipped some deadfall at the side of the trail. The last thing I remember is looking at my hands as I somersaulted through the air thinking “Hmm, this shouldn’t be happening.” Then boom! My head slammed into the ground (my helmet saved me, always wear a helmet kids), and I blacked out.
In the days after the accident, I sought comfort by rediscovering Stephen King’s back catalogue, choosing to listen to audio books as it was more practical. James Franco’s reading of The Dead Zone was a particular stand out (unfortunately my cycling crash did not give me any psychic abilities).
After healing a bit but still somewhat immobile, I got tired of just consuming horror content and I looked for a new activity. I decided to give jigsaw puzzles a go (it was triggered from one of the many puzzle pandemic articles floating around the web at the time). I purchased a “hammer classic” puzzle, which I found to be very therapeutic and a great way to also enjoy horror audio.
A strange and magical thing started to happen whilst I pieced the jigsaw together. After years of trying to get my creative writing hobby back, old ideas for horror fiction started to re-emerge in my mind with fresh, darker, and more interesting takes. This prompted me to start to write again. Maybe it was re-discovering Stephen King (my original inspiration), but I’ve since found out many Author’s puzzle and claim it helps with writers block.
Now I’m back on the bike. I’m still writing plenty of horror and doing puzzles. I find the act of doing a jigsaw puzzle in between writing acts as a catalyst for my creative brain — instead of getting distracted by endless scrolling online it leaves enough space to think. I recommend puzzling for any horror fan, it’s a great way to consume audio horror and relax. Why not give it a go this Halloween instead of a film? There’s plenty of horror puzzles to be found on Amazon.
However, with the right ambience, you can turn any puzzle into a Halloween jigsaw puzzle experience. Give it a try, you never know, maybe some creative, dark horror ideas will start to cultivate in your mind.
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