14 Things to Do When You’re Struggling to Write



1. Watch your favorite movie or a short episode of a T.V. show you like.

2. Make some food. Let your brain think while you cook.

3. Browse an online bookstore. (Don’t do this if you’re prone to purchasing massive quantities of literature when you shouldn’t — not that I know what that’s like or anything.)

4. Check out the NYT Bestseller List. Just because.

5. Hop on the writing prompt train. Write a few really random things that have nothing to do with what you’re actually trying to write.

6. Paint something. Color with crayons. It’s not childish, it’s FUN.

7. Avoid time evaporators like Twitter. You might think they’ll inspire you, but they usually won’t.

8. Move your writing apparatus(es) to a different location.

9. Indulge in your distraction … but for only five minutes. Sometimes satisfying the urge only takes a moment.

10. Spend 15 minutes writing steam-of-consciousness style. See what comes out.

11. Don’t go looking for inspiration. You won’t find what you’re hoping to uncover.

12. Give yourself a designated finish time instead of the usual “I’ll start writing at 8.” (You will never start writing at 8 and you know it.)

13. Get everything else done first, until this thing you have to write is the only thing you have left to do.

14. Get back to writing.

Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a nine-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.

Hey! I’m vlogging my way through NaNoWriMo. Here’s yesterday’s video.

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3 thoughts on “14 Things to Do When You’re Struggling to Write

  1. Number 10 works best for me, and so does going for a shower/a walk. I don’t know about 13 though because the last time I tried that I ended up having to rush my writing – I’m a master procrastinator. :P Still, the best method remains 14.

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