You must write something.
“But, I can’t think of anything to write!”
Finding Something to Write About
Sometimes, when I’m knocking around with other writers, they’ll talk about that time they couldn’t think of anything to write about, or how they can’t ever think of anything to write about.
This always makes me roll my eyes, for two reasons. First, as a writer, you should know better than to through around the word, “ever.” Words have meaning, and as a writer you should do a better job than most at using them properly. Clearly, if you can’t EVER think of anything to write, then you don’t ever write anything.
Second, is that it really isn’t true. One of the things that makes a good writer is writing a lot. One of the reasons writers write a lot (besides that’s how we earn our paychecks) is because we are constantly thinking of things to write about. If you aren’t coming up with articles, posts, and even email replies in your head a lot of the time, then you probably aren’t really cut out to be writer.
On the other hand sitting down at a desk and demanding that you write something is probably a lot like when someone walks up to a comedian and says, “He can you say something funny?”
Just plopping down in front of your computer and willing a clever topic out of your brain isn’t really the kind of thing that you can just make happen. Too often, we writers call this writer’s block, or we worry about our motivation, when the real problem is that we just can’t demand a topic rise to the top of our brain.
Fortunately, this is a fairly easy problem to fix.
First, carry around a notebook, or a scrap of paper, or some app on your phone. When an idea pops into your head and you find yourself writing a ten page post on whatever it is that jumped to the front of your mind while you were waiting for that left turn arrow to go green, jot it down. Then, the next time you end up in front of a keyboard with nothing to write about, pull it out and get going. It will probably flow pretty easy.
If that doesn’t work, or if you don’t have your notebook (mine’s out in the car, right now), then try this.
Lean back in your chair and close your eyes. Do NOT try and think of something to write about. It doesn’t work that way.
Instead, let your mind wander. In few minutes, any real writer will have at least one idea stampeding through your otherwise relaxing thoughts.
If that doesn’t work, open up your Word document, or whatever you use, and start typing about how you are stuck and why that is a bummer and what you had for lunch.
Next thing you know, you’ll be deleting the dumb parts and fleshing out the good stuff.
And, if all else fails, write about writer’s block.
We love that.