Oh, fine. That’s just peachy. While such advice might work for some of you great minds out there, I frequently have days — like, TODAY, for example — when the contents of my skull must resemble COTTON CANDY.
So how does one jump start the old gray matter? Freelance Folder has a particularly good list of some original suggestions, including:
Write ‘crap’ without feeling guilty. We tend to assume that great writers write great stuff all the time. Face it — they don’t. Professional writers write even when nothing but crap comes out because they know that it’s part of the journey to getting the real gems. Steve Allen said to “write for the trash can,” meaning write without reservations about what people might think, just to keep your writing skills in shape. Try it when you’re feeling stuck — it really works.
I know this to be a widely used technique, because I have slogged through enough blogs that are comprised largely of “crap” — and their poor authors don’t know the difference. If they’d taken another look at their posts on another day, they might have seen the bits of gold glittering through all the dross. They don’t care enough about their writing to make it better.
Certainly, writing “on the fly” is one of the heady hallmarks of the Blogosphere, where everyone shoots from the hip, often in hopes of provoking a debate. But I’ve found I’m much happier with my posts when I let an hour — or a day — lapse between hitting “Save” and “Publish” (or, in a few memorable cases, “Delete”).
As one of my English teachers always intoned, “There’s no good writing, just good rewriting.”
And if you’re still stumped for content, I have the perfect, never-fail, crap-proof solution:
Please tell me a story. PLEASE. We’re all children at heart. We all love stories. A good story will help me tell my own story. Tell me about your best day, your worst boss, your biggest disappointment, your scariest moment, your first job, your brush with death, or fame. Tell me how you overcame your agoraphobia, your cancer or your eating disorder, or how you knew when it was time to leave your marriage. Please, tell me how you managed to cope with this grab-bag of experiences called Life.
I promise I’ll read it. PROMISE.