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You sit down in your chair, turn you computer on, open up Scrivener or Word or whatever, get your fingers in position to type, but... nothing comes to mind. In a total panic, you realize that you have absolutely nothing to say.  Or, alternately, you have something to say but it comes out flat or wooden.  Your creative juices have dried up.  What do you do?

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32 minutes ago, suspensewriter said:

What do you do?

Well, first I kill a little time by coming to this site :D After I've done that, I pray and start writing. It normally comes slowly at first, but once I get going, I'm okay.

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There are so many ways to clear the cobwebs or fill in the spaces. ;)

 

Go for a walk.

Go do something else.

Be creative in some other form.

Read something.

Listen to music.

Take a shower.

Play with your pet or take it for a walk.

Have a conversation with someone.

Make some coffee.

Read some inspiring quotes.

Fool around on social media.

Just stand outside in your backyard and listen to the birds.

 

Do anything that takes your mind off writing. :D

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if what you want to write is a continuation of something you were writing previously, you could read through all that you have written and see if that sparks some imagination.

 

You could sit and brain storm ideas for what you are writing or something new

 

Do something creative that is different like drawing, painting, listen to music, play a sport, play a game that requires thinking. If there are clouds outside lay down and make shapes out of them.

 

Or you could just spend time in prayer and worship, meditate on some scripture and while you are doing any of these things, pray for inspiration.

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1 hour ago, suspensewriter said:

You sit down in your chair, turn you computer on, open up Scrivener or Word or whatever, get your fingers in position to type, but... nothing comes to mind. In a total panic, you realize that you have absolutely nothing to say.  Or, alternately, you have something to say but it comes out flat or wooden.  Your creative juices have dried up.  What do you do?

 

Two things:
* Like Lynn said, sometimes I set it aside for the night and do something else - watch a movie, read a good book, go for a walk, play with the dog. After giving my brain time off, ideas invariably begin to flow back in sooner or later.
* I begin with genre. If it's a Thriller, my protag walks into the room and discovers his best friend is dead in the chair. If it's an Action story, the villain attacks the protagonist and threatens their life right out of the gate. Reading up on genre conventions and obligatory scenes can give you a leg up there.
https://storygrid.com/action-genre/

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Right now, I've got so many irons in the fire that if one isn't hot at the moment I've got plenty of other ones that need attention.

 

If I'm getting bad output for something, I just start writing that stuff down, even though I know it's terrible. Eventually, something in there usually kicks my brain back on and I start producing better stuff. My problem is forgetting to come back and fix the bad bits later!

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17 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

You sit down in your chair, turn you computer on, open up Scrivener or Word or whatever, get your fingers in position to type, but... nothing comes to mind. In a total panic, you realize that you have absolutely nothing to say.  Or, alternately, you have something to say but it comes out flat or wooden.  Your creative juices have dried up.  What do you do?

 

Keep going.

 

Sometimes you just need to prime the pump.

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6 hours ago, Thomas Davidsmeier said:

Right now, I've got so many irons in the fire that if one isn't hot at the moment I've got plenty of other ones that need attention.

 

I'm with you on that one.

 

Between trying to get followers on Twitter, Parler, and Facebook (YouTube and Instagram soon to follow), I'm in the middle of writing a standalone book, and putting down ideas for a series of novellas.

 

The novella concept really has really captured my imagination at this point.  But I started a series and this stand-alone book, so I have to give them attention first.

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It helps me to move around while listening to music that could serve as the "soundtrack" for my story or scene. Moving activates other areas of the brain than sitting still, and you "think" differently when moving. Someone also mentioned prayer, which is great as well. 

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To be honest, I usually wander around YouTube, Facebook, here, check for new reviews on Goodreads, check on my book sales (usually a depressing exercise), get a laugh at lousybookcovers.com (while nervously checking to see if one of my covers made their list), and look over some writing blogs.

 

When I'm really in a bad place, I re-read my past reviews to remind me that I'm not a terrible writer.  😏 

 

But first I try to go back a chapter (or two) and read what I last wrote. This usually leads to some revisions and tweaks. By the time I get to where I left off, I'm back into the right frame of mind to take the story forward. It's sort of like backing up to get a running start.      

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6 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

Do you think the novella will sell, Jeff?

 

The way I have it envisioned. it will be a series of novellas.

 

And they will probably sell as much as my current book...which isn't selling, because it isn't published.

 

But hey, I can dream, can't I?

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I have employed many of the suggested diversions. Sometimes I write a poem. Walking the dog is high on the list.

 

My problem is less often having nothing to say, more often the fog of how to say it. Right now I want to write a magazine article about one small piece of what the book I am currently writing is about. I know the topic and many of the details. My solution to the fog was to outline the article. I broke it into five pieces and picked titles for each section.
 

Outlining enabled me to Discover and push through my block. I was trying to put the personal application first, to establish rapport with the reader. The problem was that it took me a whole page to establish that rapport. Now I am putting that at the end of the article as part of the life application. This means that I must start by establishing interest in the subject, then competence in my argument and marshaling of the facts. Rapport will have to come last, which is not my preferred order. Books and articles are not the same.

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Wow, so many good tips! 

 

For me, it depends as to why my creative juices have dried up. I find that I have to isolate the reason before I can deal with the problem. Am I tired? Set it aside for a day or two. Did I read or watch something that has affected me? Then I need to take a couple days, read my Bible and pray and deal with the junk that I put in my mind. Is there something wrong with the story in trying to tell? Then I need to fix that. 

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On 9/18/2020 at 8:35 PM, suspensewriter said:

You sit down in your chair, turn you computer on, open up Scrivener or Word or whatever, get your fingers in position to type, but... nothing comes to mind. In a total panic, you realize that you have absolutely nothing to say.  Or, alternately, you have something to say but it comes out flat or wooden.  Your creative juices have dried up.  What do you do?

 

I find it very hard to sit down and type creatively. My creative juices get flowing when I put pen to paper. When I sit down and type out what I've written is when I edit. My brain really just struggles to cross that boundary.

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