What happens when you can’t come up with anything good to write?

I have been sitting here for about an hour trying to come up with something good to write for a post. Mostly I have been trying to come up with some really great writing prompts. I figure that I can do that pretty easily and get my brain warmed up with that. But no dice.

The question comes up, “What the heck do I do when I can’t come up with anything good to write?” Notice the important word in that question is “good”. That is the crux of it all. What do you do when everything you write is drivel? That is a hard thing to face as a writer. Most of us when we started this thing we call writing thought that every time we write it is going to be a happy happy fun fest of inspiration and gum drops and rainbows and unicorns. And the idea of writer’s block was that horrible boogie man who you hid from. When the boogie man got you, well then you are screwed so mope about it until he leaves you alone. But then you are back to sunshine and sunflowers. But did any of us really think about what we should do when we can write but none of it turns out any good?
It isn’t that I can’t write. Obviously I can write or I wouldn’t be typing right now. It is coming up with an original thought that I am struggling with. Nothing good is coming to mind. It all falls flat within a few lines of type. I haven’t had that feeling of being grabbed and dragged along by what I am writing for that whirl wind ride. And yes I do feel like that sometimes. One of those my hands are trying desperately to keep up with the pace that my mind wants to throw words their way. Oh the abuse I put my keyboard through when that happens.

I keep telling myself two things when this happens. The most important thing is to keep writing. This is hard to do when you think what you are writing is crap. But writing when you think it is crap actually does help. Or at least it helps me. It warms up my writing brain. It forces me to get going. Much like running some days for me. I don’t always feel like doing it. And on those days where I get out there to run and I don’t feel like it or worse I just can’t get my pace/breathing/stride/whatever right there is one thing I have learned, just run. After a bit of time, normally fairly short, my body warms up and starts actually running the way I wanted in the first place. Writing can be the same way. And the best part is the second thing I tell myself. The more I write when I either don’t feel like it or what I am writing feels like absolute swill the more my brain will get worked out and get used to being ready whenever to produce. It will make it work out, produce consistency, and shorten that time period in the beginning where it all feels like it isn’t working.

Another big thing to remember is when you are writing you get to go back and fix what you wrote. You get more than one draft. Heck most of the time you get more than five drafts. And that means that you get to go back and make the rough parts smooth, the smudged parts shiny and the crap into pure gold.

One Response to “What happens when you can’t come up with anything good to write?”
  1. Maggie says:

    A friend of mine who is a published mystery writer says to write every day even if you have to “vomit on the page” (excuse the word). Just keep writing. Remember, gems have to be mined.

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