When I went to write my posts for this week, I found myself coming up blank. This is a problem I have regularly after an extended break. I get out of blogging mode, out of writing mode even (gasp) and then when I open a new document, find myself staring at the blank page for a long time, wondering how I ever thought I could fill it with beautiful words.
As a solution, I hopped around to a few blogs. Not many, mind you, since my writing time was already pretty limited due to the whole staring-at-the-blank-screen thing. But as always, reading a handful of posts by other authors got my brain moving again.
I think the same can be true for writing short stories or books. Whenever I find myself coming up blank, I head to my TBR stack (otherwise known as “to be read”) or the library, and find a book in which I can lose myself for a while. If the story is good, I find that my brain is humming, my thoughts spinning into storyteller mode. Then, when I open the document again, my fingers start typing of their own accord.
My friend James Dashner has said this same thing about movies. In fact, he makes seeing movies an integrated part of his full-time-writer workday.
So. If, like me, you’re having a hard time jumping back into your computer (or your housework, or job, or whatever thing from which you’ve recently taken a break) here’s a suggestion. Don’t jump in. Read a book. See a movie. Visit a friend. Go for a drive. Do that thing that most inspires you FIRST. Then get started.
It works! It really, really works. That is all.