Have you ever found yourself staring at a blank page and not knowing what to write? You had a good idea. You know there’s an article or short story there somewhere. Maybe even a whole book. But it’s not taking off.
What to do?
The first step is to make sure you have enough information. Is there something more you can read, research, or discuss with others that will clue you in? If so, go for it. But what if you already have everything you need to begin writing and it just isn’t happening?
Let Your Subconscious Work
It’s time to step away from the page. Set a time to return and forget about that writing project while you do something else. You can even work on a different writing project.
The human brain is incredibly complex. While you’re busy thinking about laundry or metaphysics, your subconscious can be working away on the problem of how to write that article or short story.
Back to the Blank Page
After you’ve been away from the blank page for a while, you may return and find that now you have something to say. You may even have a “eureka” moment while busy with other things and return early.
If you find yourself returning to the blank page and still drawing a blank, give it another break. Repeat as necessary. If nothing ever comes to mind, maybe you didn’t have such a great idea in the first place. I find that about one in twenty of my writing article ideas goes nowhere or becomes a different article than intended.
A lot of scientists and other creative people use this method. It gives an idea that seems to have failed one last chance to redeem itself.
Ten Minute Transitions
It takes about ten minutes for your mind to make a transition from one state of being to another. For example, you’ll be at work for about ten minutes before you’re really into it. You’ll be awake for about ten minutes before your day really starts. And you’ll be writing for ten minutes before you really start writing. So get that first ten minutes out of the way quickly. There are several ways to do it.
The fastest way to get going on your writing project is to write a few crappy paragraphs to fill the ten minutes and then continue on with the good. Just erase the junk. Other options are starting with a journal entry, free-writing, or spontaneous writing. Anything that gets you to write for ten minutes will get you on track.
From here, you should be able to start writing even if you don’t have a eureka moment. You know something about what you want to write or you wouldn’t have set it as a project. Write what you know as it comes to you and you can edit later.
Eureka moments aren’t everything.
Article by Ivan Izo.