Everyone has off days. You know, those days when the brain goes on strike and you can’t come up with any good ideas. Words don’t want to cooperate. All we’re left with is staring at a blank screen in frustration.
I don’t consider it writer’s block. That’s something that persists. What I’m referring to is those days when I sit down intending to write, but nothing comes.
In fact, it happened to me this morning when I sat down to write another blog post. My mind went blank. I had ideas yesterday, but none of them seemed worthwhile when I was ready to begin typing. I sat. I stared.
But then I thought, why not write about not being able to write? It’s advice I’ve given others. When you’re struggling to get something down on paper (or on a screen), don’t try to force it. Instead, write out your frustrations.
This serves two purposes: First, it gets you writing. Even if it’s random thoughts and complaints, you’re still going through the motions and getting words down. Second, it’s cathartic. Venting your frustration on the page is good for you. Clears your head. Distracts you from the problem at hand and puts your brain into a different gear.
I think it was a writing instructor I had years back that put this into my head. She said that any writing is good writing. Even if the words are crap, you’re still exercising your imagination and practicing your craft.
Not everything we write is going to be amazing. I estimate that out of ten ideas I get down on paper, maybe one or two are worth anything. But that’s okay. The point is to keep on writing. It’s like digging for gold. You’re going to dig a lot of holes, but eventually, you’ll find a gold nugget. That makes it worth the effort.
If you’re in one of those moments where you can’t get the words to come, turn the tables on your frustration and write about it. Let it out. I think you’ll find it’s a great way to get your creativity back on track.