What do you write about when you don’t know what to write about?
Sometimes (particularly in blog posts), I go to start a new post, and the blank page slaps me in the face with its nothingness. When this happens, there’s a couple different ways I approach the situation. When lacking ideas or motivation to write:
Refrain from slapping it back. Electronics are expensive, guys. But Rebecca, I hear you object, I write by hand! Well, don’t beat up the trees! They’ve suffered enough!!
Though, I can’t argue against a good ball of paper being used as a basketball. As long as you use the same piece of paper and don’t waste a whole forest!
Shrug and walk away. Sure, you can force your fingers to create words and stuff, but you might just need some space. Here’s what you can do:
- Invent something so simple, that everyone wants it.
- Make lots of it.
- Sell lots of it.
- Make lots of money.
- Build a rocket out of money.
- Realize your mistake.
- Invent non-combustible money, and then build a non-combustible rocket.
Write something, anything! The mere act of putting words on paper is practice even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time. Part of the difficulty in writing is that it takes hard work and time and habit. Writing a book is like a good metaphor. It blurs the line between reality and fiction. It’s also hard to get it right the first time and avoid being cheesy or cliche.
Read instead! If you can’t make your own words obey the whims of your brain, read the successful words of others! Hopefully it’s a fulfilling experience where you reassure yourself that words can in fact be strung together in a manner that makes sense. (Sometimes, words are tricky and slippery and don’t want to line up.)
Write about nothing. Just rant. Get out of the rut by being obnoxiously verbose. If you’re not incongruously afraid of heights, stand in a high place like a tabletop, tree, rooftop, or cloud and vent the frustrations of human language. But don’t tap into linguistics for this. Be sure to shout incoherently, babble and stutter with sounds and noises that have nothing to do with communicating clearly.
At the end, you still have communicated something. Frustration, anger, excitement, or just pure energy. And doesn’t it say something about language and communications and humanity and writing if we can communicate emotions without words? It says that even if the words won’t wise up and get in line, you can still express yourself to the world by taking an impression of what surrounds you.