tips for the lonely writer

tips for the lonely writer

What to do when nothing comes?

You sit in front of your computer, or with a pad and pen. The page is blank. The mind is blank. You’re a writer; you’re supposed to be filled with ideas, words, and images. What if nothing comes? I mean NOTHING, zero, zilch.

Here are six ideas:

1. Open the dictionary to a random page. Run your finger down with your eyes closed. Stop. Open your eyes. Whatever the word is, write.

2. Open your local phone book. Do the same. Run your finger down the page. Open your eyes. Whatever name you’ve landed on, invent that person. How does she look? Where do she live and what does she do? Invent. Surprise yourself. Write in the first person, present tense, as if you are that person.

3. Start your writing day with a poem. Read it, close your eyes, and let an image or a thought lead you.

4. Hemingway said he always quit before he was finished, so he could start the next day knowing where to begin.

5. Who said, get your character up a tree and start throwing stones? If you’re stuck, get your character in more trouble.

6. Read the page you wrote the day before and let that jog you into today’s writing. I don’t read from the beginning, because that makes me start revising and you want to get through a first draft.

Tell me your ideas for getting unstuck.

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