Writer’s block? Here are some pro tips for getting past “Blank Page Panic”. When I’m not writing, I’m usually drawing or painting, and there are few things more intimidating to me than a blank canvas. I know more than a few people who feel the same way about a blank Word document! Now, while I paint for fun, I write for a living. When I have a deadline, I don’t have time to battle writer’s block. Here are a few tricks I use to get my brain working and get a first draft on the page.
The most important thing is to remember that words are a lot easier to delete than they are to write. When you’re just getting started, give yourself permission to be terrible. Write badly! My first drafts will often have big bold notes in-line with things like (Well, this is getting out of hand – FIND AN EXAMPLE, WOMAN!) or simply (Blah, blah, blahdedah) to indicate somewhere I’m not quite sure what to say yet, and I’ll have to get back to it later. They call it a FIRST draft for a reason.
Research…but not too much. Inspiration is available everywhere, but so is procrastination! Don’t get carried away online. Sometimes, just to get words on the page so my “canvas” isn’t blank anymore, I’ll simply cut and paste a few lines from a source I’m using. If you do that, make sure you put it in quotes and add the link right away so you remember, at the end, that those words aren’t your own. If someone has already said the perfect thing, better than you ever could, there’s nothing wrong with sharing, but stealing is still a crime.
I’m curious – what tricks to you have for jump starting your brain? Let me know in the comments.