I spend a LOT of time writing. Whether it’s my Life and Laughter column, an article for a magazine or newspaper, a press release or this witty blog, I’m ALWAYS trying to come up with interesting topics, fun words, brilliant sentences, blah, blah, blah. But there are SOME days (I call them “weekdays”) when my brain doesn’t engage and I stare stupidly at my computer screen, watching that irritating cursor blink in my general direction. Mocking me.
Writer’s Block. For some reason, the voices in my head have gone silent.
So I type anything. Lalalalalalalalalalalalala. UMMMMMMMMMMMMM. Peri is cool. I want chocolate. Must quit my writing job. Goats are people, too. This grapefruit is fascinating. Etc, etc, etc. Blah, blah, blah.
Doesn’t usually help.
But I’ve found some things that will get those creative writing juices flowing again:
#1: Wallow in self-pity. This is the point where I admit I’ve been a writing fraud my entire life and I will never write a coherent sentence ever, ever again. This leads me to collapse on the floor in a heap (with the dog licking my neck) until I fall asleep. When I wake up, I feel much better. (I also do this when things don’t go my way. I call those times “weekdays.”)
(Someone. . . get . . . me . . . a . . . thesaurus. . .)
#2: Write the ending first. By typing the words “The End,” I feel very accomplished and can retire to the couch for a couple of hours of mindless entertainment. (This can be found on the E! channel.)
#3: Draw a picture. Using colored markers, pastels or pencils, I’ll grab a piece of paper and draw a unicorn sliding down a rainbow into a pool full of warm caramel. (Don’t worry, PETA. The caramel isn’t deep. The unicorn is fine.) Then I take my drawing and put it on the fridge. Then I walk over to my computer and punch it in the face.
(You should see my picture of a panda bear soaring on a magic carpet.)
#4: Take an exercise/healthy eating break. This is loosely translated as “walk briskly to the pantry, grab a bag of Cheetos and insert head into bag.” It could also mean, “Stomp down the hall to hidden chocolate stash. Insert head into stash.” Regular exercise/healthy eating habits keep the brain oozing with creative energy.
#5: Resolve personal issues. Writer’s block might be nothing more than last night’s fight with my teenage daughter or husband (who’s not a teenager.) When I find my personal life interfering with my professional projects, I put those bad feelings aside and ask for forgiveness.
(Never forgive. Never forget.)
If these tips don’t have you back at your keyboard typing the next bestselling novel, then chances are you suck at writing and should apply at the local department store.