This week's discussion topic is one that people talk about a lot. What do you do when you don't know what to write?
There are so many times when I'm writing and I get that "I have no idea what to put next" feeling. It happens when I'm working on novels, and it happens when I'm writing blog posts. The things that I do to help myself are different for each situation.
Writing a Blog Post
Very often, I'll start up a blog post (often a review) and think, "what do I write?" Does that ever happen to you? This is pretty terrible. I know how I feel about the book. I just read it, right? So why can't I articulate anything about it?
I decided to start making lists.
If I'm reading a review book and there is something I know that I want to mention in my review, I write it down in a notebook. I find writing by hand helps me remember things later, even if I lose the page with my list. Something I've seen people do is use sticky tabs to mark spots in the book. I don't know if this works, but I should try it.
While Writing a Novel
This... This just plain sucks. Sometimes I sit there and stare at a blank document in Scrivener, because I can't figure out what to write, where to go with the story, why I even bothered starting this stupid project to begin with. And then it's just stress and tears and ugh! I know I'm not alone in this one.
The biggest thing I always try to remember is to just write something. Even if it's shit. I can go and fix it later. But I need to get something down. So what if I can't even think of anything?
Good ol' notebook again. I have notebooks all over my house (one is missing and I'm very upset) for all mt different WIPs and whatnot. I've seen that many writers use this trick. It's easier to get thoughts out on paper, it seems, than on a computer. Why? I have no idea. But it generally works for me. I can flip through all my old notes, character sketches, scenes, whatever. And maybe I'll think of something. But at my worst, this doesn't help. And so I sit there, with the pen in my right hand. And move it to my left hand.
This pretty much always helps me. I don't think this solution will work for like 99% of people. It just helps that I'm dual-handed, so I can write with either. I just prefer to use my right. But by switching hands, I feel like I'm using my brain completely differently. When I do this, I often get a little jump on what I've been having trouble with.
I feel like being able to write with your non-dominant hand is a good skill to have. I had to train myself to be able to do this. And it has come in extremely useful (especially since I'm basically a walking accident).
How do you deal with a lack of inspiration?