Robert J. Wiersema is the author of the novels Before I Wake and Bedtime Story (both national bestsellers), the novella The World More Full of Weeping, and the non-fiction, Walk Like a Man: Coming of Age with the Music of Bruce Springsteen. He reviews frequently for the Globe and Mail, the National Post and other periodicals, and he teaches introductory creative writing at Camosun College. He lives mere steps away from (above, actually) Float House Victoria, which is very handy.
I admit it – I use floating somewhat differently than most people will. One of the crucial things for my writing is the playlist, a set of songs that works with what I’m writing, setting mood, tone and themes in a way that will likely never be clear to a reader but is absolutely vital to me as the writer. When I started floating, I brought a version of the playlist for my book-in-progress – piping those songs into the dark tank was akin to injecting them directly into my subconscious. I emerged from the tank 90 minutes later with ideas and breakthroughs, developments and turns I’m not sure I would have arrived at under normal circumstances. As an added bonus, I came out of the tank so thoroughly relaxed it felt like the middle of a beach vacation!