5 Tips to Get You Writing When the Words Refuse to Show Up.


We’ve all been there. Staring blurry-eyed at the computer screen for minutes that turn into hours that turn into days, a deadline on a sinister yellow sticky note staring smugly at us. The office clock ticking faster than usual. The day getting darker, the air around you getting denser…  

OK, so maybe it’s not exactly like a scene from Die Hard 4. But sometimes, this is what writing feels like, as if there were a little miscreant in your brain holding the words hostage.  
What do you do?   
1. Go old-fashioned. Grab a notebook and pen and start scribbling. A crispy sheaf of paper and smudgy ballpoint are almost always more inspiring than a cold white keyboard and computer screen. I promise you, you’ll come up with something. And something is better than nothing!  
2. Take a walk. Yes, that’s right, unglue yourself from that comfortable swivel chair and step out. A bit of fresh air, a stretch of the legs, the sun on your back and the sight of a gigantic Darth Vader head at the street corner can do wonders for your creativity.  
3. Eat something. A snack goes a long way, especially if it’s packed with natural goodness like a banana, apple or Twix bar (The ‘goodness’ of a Twix bar is debatable, but its mood-elevating abilities certainly aren’t). Nibble on something to perk you up and energize those mental muscles.  
4. Read. If you’re stuck on a particular topic, there’s nothing wrong with taking inspiration from blogs or articles that talk about the same thing. We writers do it all the time. That doesn’t mean you start “borrowing” habitually from The Huffington Post, but an attractive word here, an intriguing idea there is sometimes all that’s needed to get the words flowing.  
5. Disconnect. Our constant state of “wiredness” is fatal for creativity, at least when it comes to the written word. So if you have some serious writing to do, log off Facebook, GChat, Skype – now. Turn off notifications from What’s App, Twitter, Instagram and every other social media app floating around in your smart phone. Everything can wait. At this moment, your writing is the only thing that matters.  
Lastly, just forget about how it looks, how it sounds, whether you hate it or just dislike it vehemently. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Remember, anything can be fixed, provided you have something in front of you to fix!  
Good luck!
por Manal A. Khan

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