When the Words Won’t Come


I finally cleared my schedule enough so I have several hours a week available to write. Several hours of uninterrupted writing time. Ah, bliss! Nirvana.

All those writing projects I’ve been putting off now seem possible. I can finally finish the novel I’ve been working on for months.

So what happens? I sit at my computer, hands poised over keyboard and. . .nothing. No words come. My mind goes blank, completely devoid of brilliant, or even mundane, thoughts.

The words just won’t come.

What can I do? Here are some tricks I’ve developed over the years.

Do ten minutes of free writing. Write anything that comes to mind. Don’t pause, keep writing. I usually do this exercise long hand – keeping pen to paper the entire time, but I’ve found it also works at the keyboard.

Do a writing exercise. Focus on a short piece that has a specific purpose. Sometimes I pick a random word as a writing prompt, but other times I search the internet to find a writing exercise that gets my juices flowing.

Write a journal entry. Sometimes I discover something on my mind that’s blocking the writing from getting through.

Work on something else. If I can’t write a scene in the current novel, I write a plot summary or character sketch for the next novel. Or, I work on an article, blog post, or web site.

As a last resort, I get up and take a walk. Clear my head. While walking, I think about what I’m going to write when I get back to my desk.

Even on the days when the words won’t come, the important thing is to put in the time. Show up at the desk. The words come in their own good time.

 

 

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