8 Things to do When you Can’t Think of What to Write

Do you have an upcoming deadline and have no idea what to write? This may happen to you whether you are a student writer or a professional freelancer.

If you have writer’s block, remember the following tips:

  1. Take a nap. If you stared at a blank, white page for longer than 15 minutes, consider how long you have already worked today. You can function much better after you have had some rest. Even a short “power nap” of 20 to 30 minutes can help.  Don’t take snooze too late in the day, though. If it’s already past three in the afternoon, you’re better off staying awake until early evening. Then, go to bed and sleep the entire night. You will feel much better in the morning if you do this than if you sleep only a few hours at a time throughout the day.
  2. Talk to someone. Sharing your frustrations and struggles with another compassionate human being can reduce stress level. It also eliminates “racing thoughts” you normally have when you worry. Once you calm your anxious mind, you are more than likely able to increase productivity. You can then return to your project, and you’ll make that deadline after all. Other writers usually will provide you the emotional support and inspire you with new ideas.
  3. Eat something. It will amaze you when you learn how easy it is to neglect your diet. Don’t forget to eat while busy working on writing or other freelance projects. Balanced meals consisting of one-quarter meats and carbohydrates and 50 percent vegetables will help you focus. Don’t drink too much coffee, as tempting as it is for writers to do! Likewise, lay off the cola and other sweet soft drinks.
  4. Exercise.This will reduce stress faster than most other anxiety-combating measures you take. It lifts you out of your depression and clears your mind. Afterward, it gives you the optimism you need. You’ll then resume daily writing duties as you did before burnout. Taking walks, going to the gym, or joining a sport can help any writer. It releases tension and gives you the natural high you need to make it through the day.
  5. Get away from the desk for a while. No matter how badly you need the money, don’t take your work with you when you do this. Even if you only take five minutes away, that’s better than nothing. Go sit outside in the sun for a while or take a walk. Relax in your tub if you want, or escape into your favorite reality show. Whatever you do during this time, make sure it has nothing to do with your regular projects.
  6. Change work locations. Unlike the previous point, this one allows you to take your work with you if you want. You would be amazed what happens just by changing scenery. New surroundings stimulate your creativity, and you can write more influential content.  Ideal alternative writer environments include the library, a coffee shop, or a local park. You could also site by the beach if you have one near your home.
  7. Vent in your journal. Many freelancers and authors find this to be one of the most satisfying frustration releases. You can write about why you can’t write, and it will help you get to the bottom of what’s causing your writer’s block. After a private venting session with your personal notebook, you should feel rejuvenated. You’ll feel “ready to go” once again.
  8. Read books and articles about writing. You will find countless tips available or read at most quality websites. You also can find books written by successful authors that include tips for overcoming writer’s block as well as tips for becoming successful. If you want to know how to make more money as a writer, you can research that, too.

If worse comes to worst, you can always explain to your client you need an extension. Be careful not to do this too many times, though. Furthermore, if you are getting to the point in your life where you are just plain bored with your writing it may be time for a vacation.

Traveling can help arouse your senses and also can provide new ideas when you can’t think of what to write.

— Original Post Publish Date: 3/11/2008 (Blogger); Moved to this blog in 2014 — used to be “7 things, and now it’s 8.”

Additional Recommendations for Fighting Writer’s Block

You also might want to try out the endless numbers of writing exercises published by other expert authors. The more you participate in practicing your writing skills, the better off your writing will become. I also recommend that you Sign up for the Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial

Please also browse though the rest of a Blog in the Life of a Writer for more great tips and advice to jump start your writing career.

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