What do you write when you don’t know what to write?

I launched the blog.

I wrote a blog…then a second the very next day.

And then? Nothing. Diddly.

So, I sat here looking at the blank screen that mocked me and I wondered what to write about. Then I remembered something Andrew Pyper said at the Writer’s Conference last Saturday (and if you haven’t read Andrew Pyper, go, do so. Now.)

Anyway, he talked about a few things, but two really resonated with me. The first was to treat writing like a job. What he means is, you need to show up every day and just do it. Don’t wait until you “feel” like it, or when the “muse” hits. Ass in chair, fingers on keyboard and go. Which is what got me writing this today. Staring at a blank screen, waiting for inspiration and his advice just popped up from the back of my lumpy little noggin. There was a fun little argument in my head…

“Why aren’t you writing anything?” I thought.

“I don’t know what to write about,” I thought back.

“Oh, for… Write about anything!”

“Yeah, easier said than done. And don’t even start on me telling my students to write every day whether they want to or not. I know I say that. ‘Do as I say, not as I do,’ is my motto.”

“Good motto…not. Remember what Andrew Pyper said?”

“Yeah, yeah… ‘Treat it like a job and write.’ I get it. But it still doesn’t help if I have nothing to write about!”

“Why not write about that?”

“…”

So I did.

The other thing that Pyper talked about, which I also felt made a ton of sense, is that there is no writer’s block. His argument was to ask, in your day job (you know…the one you do until you become rich or famous or both), do you ever get to claim “job block”? For instance, I do a lot of interviewing. My boss would never go for me stating I’m gonna skip a few weeks and not interview because I’m not feeling it, or I don’t have the time, or I’m not inspired…

See what I mean? It makes a lot of sense.

So, not waiting for inspiration to hit me, not claiming writer’s block, treating this as something I need to get out…in the end, it made me write something. Maybe not the best thing I’ve ever written, but hey, at least I wrote something…

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One thought on “What do you write when you don’t know what to write?

  1. And Andrew Pyper said your office should be a crap place to work in, a place you’d never choose to go to because there are no fun distractions, like light and scenery, or fancy filing cabinets and shades over the light bulbs.

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