What do you write about when you can't write anything?

United States
March 8, 2011 1:03pm CST
It's been one of those days and I can't think of a thing to write on my current project or the ones coming down the pike. It's not writer's block, per se, but it's frustrating. Other than writing "I am a fish" over and over, I'm not sure what to do.
1 person likes this
10 responses
@1hopefulman (34978)
• Canada
9 Mar 11
I have more ideas than time. As ideas come up in my head, I quickly take a piece of paper and quickly write down any thoughts about it that comes into my head. So now I have a huge collection of things to write about. I just go through the sheets of paper on my desk and decide which idea I feel like writing about.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Mar 11
Thanks for the advice. That's another thing I hadn't thought of. I have tons of half-started stuff that I could go through. I even made a writer's morgue for them so they're all in one place. I should open it up and see what gems are waiting for me to get back to them.
@1hopefulman (34978)
• Canada
14 Mar 11
Do you write for Triond?
@Liliac26 (558)
• Romania
8 Mar 11
I write about writer's block and ways to overcome it. And I research the topic thoroughly :). Or I don't write at all, just wait for the inspiration to hit me. That might take a few months, though...
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Mar 11
Thanks for the advice. Do you find that the research sometimes takes you out of writing mode entirely? I've tried the waiting tactic in the past, but unfortunately, for me, it leads to long periods of no work getting done. That's great if you can afford it, but I'm not in the position to enjoy such luxury.
@Liliac26 (558)
• Romania
15 Mar 11
Research usually helps me when my mind is completely blank. At least I'm doing something instead of staring at the walls. But too much research does slow down the writing process quite a bit.
@AdalieM (1135)
• United States
8 Apr 11
What do you write when you can't write about anything? Well, I don't write, if I am not in the mood I take a break, great ideas are out there, one time I was talking a walk on the park and a new idea for a new character came up to me. Sitting down and forcing yourself is not going to work, I know you say is not writer's block but why don't you try reading instead of worrying whether or not you can't write anything about anything, eh!
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Apr 11
Taking a break is a good way to get a fresh mindset. However, it's not always a panacea. I posed the question because I thought others might enjoy talking about it. It's something that I have to deal with on occasion and thought others might suffer from it as well. Not everyone has the luxury of taking as much time as they need to complete their projects. Sometimes forcing yourself to write is the only way to meet a deadline. Most writing advice that I've come across says that writing, even when it's difficult, is important. Reading other works can help get the words flowing. Seeing how other people have done it can really help.
@mtrguanlao (5527)
• Philippines
10 Mar 11
Hello there! I feel for you 'cause I've been having that problem most of the time,lol! Well,when I can't think of anything,I usually just write recipes as it is really easy to write,no more thinking needed,just write how you cook a certain meal and that's it! You can do it if recipes are accepted,lol! See yah!
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Mar 11
Thanks for the advice. You are assuming I cook. :) Which is dangerous for some of us. Recipes are great, they involve creativity and are step-by-step. Personally, I'm not really a cook, but there are other things I do that would follow the same sort of format. It's something I hadn't thought about before, but technical writing might be a good way to get me out of my funk.
@SIMPLYD (86528)
• Philippines
10 Mar 11
I think you need a walk and refresh yourself. Be calm and let the positive emotion set in , so that you can think clearly and be able to write enthusiastically. Maybe you are so much in a hurry to write something, so you cannot think well. Take it slowly.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Mar 11
Thanks for the advice. Sometimes getting up from the work is the only thing you can do. And taking things slowly is good advice, but I don't always have the ability to do that. Things are on a deadline and the work has to go out whether I want it to or not. However, going for a walk is a great way to get some distance (pun intended) from the work and let the thoughts settle.
• Philippines
10 Mar 11
I write anything that I can think of. I doesn't matter if it makes sense or it has any connections with one another. I just write and write until a concrete inspiration unfolds. I think it's better than waiting for an inspiration rather than working for an inspiration to develop. Though some of my greatest ideas came from nowhere, it's always a good idea to have some back-up ideas so that you can have an alternate or integrate the two ideas.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Mar 11
Thanks for the advice. And sometimes the act of trying to relate two seemingly unrelated ideas is a way to cut through the block. You're right about having to work for it. It's great when the muse just sits on your shoulder and dictates, but so often the muse is on an extended vacation and you've got to keep leaving messages until he/she gets back. If you don't leave the messages, they don't get back to you.
@bingskee (5237)
• Philippines
9 Mar 11
why not try writing why you can't write anything, or about the frustration of not being able to write, or anything akin to these topics.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Mar 11
Thanks for the advice. You're right. Sometimes facing the problem head on is the only way to go. And as a writer, that means writing about it. So often we let the things that are bothering us live under the surface and don't really deal with with what they are.
@Lore2009 (7388)
• United States
9 Mar 11
Why don't you grab a dictionary and run the pages along and while closing your eyes stop at a random spot and write something about that word you randomly picked? Maybe you can start writing a poem with it or look it up on the web to see what it's related to?
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Mar 11
Thanks for the advice. I like that. Letting the words guide the thoughts. There are so many great words out there and each is so unique in connotation and denotation with nuance thrown in. Such a great, great idea. Thank you so much.
@veganbliss (3901)
• Adelaide, Australia
8 Mar 11
That might be part of the problem; thinking of "I". You might do better trying to think of others & what you have to give to them. Try to offer your readers something inspiring, uplifting or helpful & useful. Why should they bother taking the time to read what you have written? Give them some benefits for making the effort to spend some of their time with you. Make it really worth their while. Time is money these days. Make your writing reflect your desire for a better world, a higher society & an exemplary standard of being. Really try to elevate people's thinking & way of going about doing things here. Your role as a writer is an important & valued privilege. Generations of great writers have come & gone, wars have been fought & won, you have so, so many resources to draw upon, more than anyone ever before you. The opportunities to do some lasting good in this world are rare, so make each one count. So, with every fibre of your being, use your ability to drive away the darkness, fill the people with hope, encourage them to invoke the great love inside each of them & use it to beautify & contribute to this world in a way that physicalizes every noble sentiment & puts it into practice in our everyday lives.
• United States
14 Mar 11
Thanks for the advice. Your words are inspiring, but don't you find they put a lot of pressure on you? While I acknowledge that writing is a gift that should be used to create good in the world, I wonder if that burden can sometimes become too heavy. You're right about thinking about the audience and letting what they need guide the writing, but by the same token, an author needs to be true to him/herself. If you only write for others, the writing can fall flat or become pendantic. Nobody likes to be lectured to, inspired, yes, but not lectured.
• Philippines
8 Mar 11
i write titles and then try to come up with something witty they usually end up as only 3 sentences when writing posts i try to make sure i have at least a hundred words if not, it usually ends up in the trash so i'm usually making titles and not posting anything hehehe
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Mar 11
Thanks for the advice. I like the title idea. I can see that one working for me. It's something that makes you focus on specific topics instead of letting a zillon topics overwhelm you. Focus can really help with writer's block, one word in front of the other sort of thing.
1 person likes this