Every few weeks I find myself staring at my computer wondering what the heck I’m going to write about. I might panic for a moment or two that I have nothing left to write about, but usually once I start typing I come up with something.
About every six months or so I suffer from an epic case of writer’s block. Last year I developed a no-fail strategy to ban the block which I graciously share with you today.
Please feel free to use one or all of these tips if you find yourself looking at a blank screen:
- Moan, groan, and complain that you have nothing left to write about. Use a very dramatic voice for more effect. If you can conjure up some tears, it will totally add to the “poor me” effect.
- Sit down and try to write again. Start and throw out 10 essays.
- Ask all your writing friends for ideas on how to get over this annoying block. Love the ideas about unplugging from the computer and walking away from writing. Hate the ideas about having to just sit down and write because if there is one thing you don’t want to do to get over your block, it’s write.
- Remind yourself that your friends are talented writers, feel intimidated, quit writing, and take up underwater basket weaving.
- Spend some time thinking about whether there’s something called underwater basket weaving, or if it was just something your high school choir director would tell you would be your major in college because clearly you would never be good enough for anything else.
- Go into kitchen where family is eating a late lunch and beg husband for an idea.
- Get into argument with husband when he tells you that the only way through your writer’s block is to sit down and write. If you feel up to it, throw back in his face all you’ve done to help him over the twenty years you’ve been married.
- Plead with all three of your children for an idea, any idea.
- Dismiss your daughter’s suggestion of writing about princesses and your youngest’s idea of writing about his deep fear of animals. Not because they’re not good ideas, but because you’ve already written about them.
- Decide that you exhausted everything in your life to write about. You might want to throw in a few more minutes of deep self pity here.
- Look around for a snack that is only 2 points with Weight Watchers because you blew 5 points on the chocolate that you swore would end your writer’s block. Sadly it didn’t.
- Start to get not-so-secretly annoyed by teenage son, who has clearly become too much like his father when he laughingly suggests writing about the “Harlem Shake.”
- Now that husband is laughing along with son, go ahead and give the man a very dirty look. Make note of the fact that he gives son secret hand sign to let the poor child know he better quit teasing his mother because husband knows his wife and he knows that any minute she is going to eat her firstborn.
- Grab another cup of coffee and go back into your office, which is really just a small corner of the bedroom. Look at the blank computer screen. Again.
- When all of that fails to work, write an essay about the ways that you deal with writer’s block.
* This piece is an updated version of a piece that ran on the Dishwasher, May 19, 2013, under the title, Twenty Ways to Deal With Writers Block.