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Blank Page Syndrome and how to beat it

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You sit down at the computer to write something, open up a word processing program of some type, put fingers to keyboard, and …


You sit there, staring at a blank white screen, waiting for inspiration to strike, yet no ideas come to you.

You’ve been hit by Blank Page Syndrome. You want to write, and your fingers sit on the keys like flaccid hot dogs.

So, what do you do in this situation?

You can just sit there, waiting for something to come pouring forth from your mind, like water rushing forth from a crumbling dam. You’ll probably grunt and strain and tell yourself what a worthless person you are because you can’t get the words coming. This is probably the track you want to avoid using.

You could get up, go outside and go for a walk. Don’t even think about writing. Just relax, and enjoy the Great Outdoors. Or take a shower. Or do some pushups. Just something to get the blood flowing and elevate your heart rate a little. As you’re doing this alternative activity, you’ll find your brain will come up with a topic to write about.

You could just start typing the same word over and over until your brain gets bored. Then it will start giving you something to write about just so you’ll stop typing the same thing repeatedly.

You could try a writing prompt. There are plenty of prompts out there on the Internet. Simply put “writing prompt” or “what should I write about” in your favorite search engine and you’ll get plenty of results.

If you’re like me, you keep a list of topics that you want to write about handy so you can refer to it when it comes time to write.

This works on fiction, too. My Muse throws ideas at me all the time for stories. I write them all down. They may not all be winners, but you never know which one will turn into a hit. (Joe Lansdale says he almost didn’t write Bubba Hotep, but he did and it turned into one of his biggest hits, even spawning a movie.)

Ultimately, you’ll have to find what works for you. If none of the above work, keep trying. Maybe a nice cup of tea, or listening to your favorite punk polka hits, or whatever.

You can do it.

If you’d like to support my efforts, why not buy me a chocolate chip cookie through my Ko-Fi page?

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