Things to Do When You Can’t Seem to Write
Are the words just not coming? Try getting away from the screen for a few minutes.
Do Something Productive
- Take care of the dishes – load or unload your dishwasher, or wash a sinkfull by hand. If you have to leave any to soak, try writing for a few minutes while they do.
- Put away that basket of laundry you’ve been ignoring.
- Clean your bathroom sink.
- Put away any shoes, jackets, or other outerwear you left lying around.
Do Something Fun
- Write/draw/paint in your journal, if you have one. Do a page, then try writing again.
- Read a chapter of your current book.
- Set a timer for five or ten minutes and play a simple game that will let your mind disengage–my go-to is Spider Solitaire.
- Call/Skype/text a friend and have a chat for a few minutes.
Make Your Writing Space More Pleasant
- Straighten up your desk. Throw out any scraps of paper that have served their purpose, but check to make sure you’re not tossing out story notes! Dust the surface off, and put away anything that belongs somewhere else.
- Light a candle.
- Get a glass of water, or make yourself tea or coffee.
Take Care of Yourself
- Grab a small snack if you’re hungry.
- Are your hands dry? Mine get terrible in winter. Moisturize!
- Lips, too –grab that lip balm.
- Feeling sluggish? Take a short walk or do some jumping jacks to get your energy level up.
- Feeling grungy? Take a shower. “Inspirational” showers are my favorite, I get so many ideas in there.
If one of these doesn’t break you from your funk, try one from another category to switch things up. And if you still don’t find your writing mojo, maybe you need a longer break, or to pack it in for the day. Just remember, working hard is great, but forcing yourself to write can burn you out, so keep yourself in balance!