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8 ways to get unstuck when writing. It may be bigger than that.

8 ways to get unstuck when writing. It may be bigger than that.

  1. Just start. Act. Put your fingers on the keyboard and put down what comes out.
  2. Change your place. Leave your desk and work outside. Take a seat in a different chair in your office. The new perspective often jogs new ideas out of your imagination.
  3. Take a brisk 10 minute walk. I do this for many different situations and it just about always works. The trick is to think about the problem in a distinct way before you begin then don’t think about it on your walk. Your subconscious will take over and one of two things will happen. You will puzzle it out while walking anyway or the answer will occur to you when you come back to your desk.
  4. Start thinking that getting stuck is often much larger than just what to write. Getting stuck can apply to many things – especially stuck at work or as a business. When this happens we are in much worse shape and the three things above are only a start. We start there and realize we are screwed. How am I going to fix this? Which brings us to the real list piece: Start asking questions. Begin with general ones and work toward the specific – those specific thoughts are where the real issue is. The answers to those questions should lead you back to #1.
  5. Look for inspiration in people you respect / love or revile / hate. Whether it is family, friends, co-workers, authors or people you completely disagree with, feelings of joy and feelings conflict should spark something within you. Use it.
  6. Find a quote or a writing prompt and jump from that. Simply the idea is the sticking point. Meditate on that idea out loud. Make an outline or random thoughts on the main point and build.
  7. Start with a plan in the first place. Create an editorial schedule and follow it. When something more important comes up, write about it but following the schedule and a list of ideas makes your collection of essays more connected while also relieving you of the dreaded blank page. Any jumping point keeps you from being mired in the bog of listlessness.
  8. Write an article listing things. Once you drop all of your ideas out of your brain, you have now created some content regarding a specific principle and presented it in an easily digestible manner. Congratulations, you are now UnStuck.

This brings us to another important aspect of writing and life. When you start with a definite idea and goal in mind, it will be much easier to take steps toward that goal and each step brings you closer, allowing you to track your progress and eventually finish.

I am finding in life that many times when I am stuck, it is because I don’t know where to go. Pick a direction and start. But try to remember: an arrow has a slim chance of hitting the target unless it is aimed.

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