I can’t write right now.
My brain is just…empty. Nothing’s coming. Nothing’s there. My thoughts wander aimlessly and the most passion I can muster is for the self-loathing I feel for not being able to write right now.
So here’s what to do when that happens to you.
- Put in a favorite movie, and watch it with new eyes. Watch it entirely from the perspective of a lesser character. Watch it for the little directorial touches. Watch it and really (I mean really) pay attention to the dialogue, or the world-building. Learn from it.
- Take a walk. Or a hike. Or go to the mall. People watch. Nature watch. Just plain watch it all and breathe it in. Imagine you’re not you, but someone else in this moment. Why are you there? What comes next?
- Call an old friend. One that you know has good stories.
- Rewrite something you wrote badly before. The irritation you’ll feel at your old self will really get you pumping.
- If you’re of age and have no objection, pour yourself a drink. I will tell you flat-out that I’ve written some interesting stuff when I’m a little tipsy. Not full-on drunk – that’s just a waste of time. Your mileage may vary, of course, but it can help lower the inhibitions a bit.
- Sing, dance and scream at yourself. It helps to blow off a little steam.
Then you sit back down and write. Badly, if you must, but write. And keep on writing. Trust that it can be done, and will be done.
You’re a writer, after all. Believe it.