What to Do When You Think You’ve Run Out of Things to Write About

Surprise! You can still get some writing done anyway.

When you post on the same blog daily for a year or more, you have moments when you start to doubt your ability to come up with new ideas.

It happens to all of us, whether we’re looking for an excuse to write or we know we have to get it done, but don’t know where to start.

Sometimes it feels like everyone else has some kind of superpower you don’t, always coming up with ideas you never would have thought of seemingly out of nowhere.

How do they do that?

It’s not a secret. And the truth is, you can do it, too.

Yes, there are going to be days the words just don’t come and you have other things to deal with and writing just won’t happen the way you want it to, or at all.

But I can guarantee that if you don’t let yourself give up as easily as you probably do now, you can push through it 80% of the time.

How? By writing about … your dog. Your car. Your dream vacation.

Write about a character based on someone in real life you hate.

Write something that makes you laugh. That makes you cry. That puts you in the mood you want to be in.

Write about not being able to think of anything to write about.

Most people’s largest roadblock to writing productivity is starting. And the only way to combat your inability to start writing is to start writing.

Some will argue: “But what’s the point if you’re just writing nonsense?”

Who says nonsense can’t eventually turn into something publishable? That’s how 60% of my blog posts start out. Me just rambling about a thing I’m struggling with until I figure out how to make it relatable and helpful and actionable for my audience.

If I stopped trying to write every time I wasn’t sure what the next day’s blog post was going to be about, I would have stopped blogging three years ago.

Sometimes, you won’t know what you’re going to write about until you start writing. And you won’t figure out what those first few sentences lead to unless you keep going.

Don’t worry so much about whether or not what you’re writing is “good.” You have to start somewhere. Pretty much everyone writes terrible first drafts of most things. Perfect is overrated. Just get something down on paper, and you’ve already accomplished more than the “writers” who always say they’re going to do something but never even try.

I know some days you just sit there staring at a blank page. I know that’s frustrating and probably makes you not want to bother trying at all. But take five minutes, walk away, clear your head, get a snack, come back, and don’t even hesitate. Just start. You’ll end up somewhere you probably didn’t imagine you would, and if you think about it, that’s pretty amazing.

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 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.

Help Novelty Revisions become a more valuable resource for aspiring writers.  Join us on Patreon.

12 thoughts on “What to Do When You Think You’ve Run Out of Things to Write About

  1. I agree with you- sometimes it’s about just starting… then the rest will follow. And some days you write better and more interest things than others…

  2. Thank you so much Meg! This was some absolutely wonderful advice as I often find myself really wanting to write, but have no idea what to write about! I do try to write about things that resonate with those that read my blog, but we all live with some kind of chronic illness and I think it might be nice for a change to mindset. I personally think it is best to not just dwell on what we already deal with everyday and want to add a little spice to things that will help everyone focus on something a little different. I seriously always appreciate reading your amazing advice and words of wisdom!

    1. This is an amazing perspective on a very tough issue. It’s taken me a long time to learn to step out of my own head and think about what other people are struggling with even if I’m not. But it’s something I’ve had to learn as a health science writer and continue to apply to my blogging as well. The best part about writing is watching how what you write transforms and gets better over time.

      1. I think you are doing a pretty amazing job and I appreciate what you write! It can be difficult to step out of our own heads and see what others are struggling with, unfortunately living with Multiple Sclerosis I have been able to do this all too much!

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