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What To Write When You Don’t Know What To Write

At about 4 a.m. I decided to get out of bed. I’d been tossing and turning for more than an hour, at that point. It seemed fruitless to stay.

Sitting at the computer I pulled up a file I had been working on, a guest post for another blog. I worked on it a bit, sent it off to the blogger who’d asked for it.

Then, I turned to my own blog (this one, of course) and thought I would work on writing this week’s compliment of posts. I try to do at least three good posts each week. Typically, when I am on the ball and really hitting my writing with my full energy, I’ll write all of the week’s blogs on Monday and queue them to “publish” throughout the rest of the week.

I also keep a running list of possible blog topics, so when I moved on to this week’s blog possibilities, I had a list of several things to consider.

The only problem was, none of them appealed to me this early.

Do you ever get into that writing funk where none of your current projects appeal to you? Maybe you–like me–have a pile of stories you’re working on, in various stages of completion from a germ of an idea to those pieces you’ve re-worked and edited many times. Or, maybe you are in the middle of a book, and there are plenty of places that you can either move forward or re-write or edit, but the energy just isn’t there.

Blogging is like that, for me, sometimes. I enjoy it. I’ve met a number of fun writer friends through blogging. It’s been rewarding. But, sometimes I just can’t find the energy for it.

There are two ways I deal with this lack of specific energy. First, I write through it. I use the idea of free writing (or, in some circles, the concept of Morning Pages) to push through the lack of energy. Sometimes, it is just a matter of putting myself into motion. Pushing myself forward until there is enough momentum to carry me through. There are times, though, when that is not enough. Which brings me to the other way I move through low-energy times: I create something different. Lately, I’ve been playing with poetry. In the past, I would pick up the guitar or even a paintbrush or sketch pad. None of these three “other” creative endeavors (music, poetry, art) are in any way good enough for anyone else to see (or, in the case of music, hear) but they are great ways to vary the creative pattern and free up the ideas and energy and motivation to write.

What about you? Do you have methods that help you deal with a lack of creative power?

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