How to Overcome The Blank Sheet of Paper #Writers #Amwriting



“Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of a job: it’s always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins.”
Neil Gaiman

Ever sat and stared at a blank sheet of paper hoping and praying that your creative brain will leap into action?  It can be soul destroying when the blank sheet of paper wins and you walk away feeling like a total failure.

Here are some useful ideas to overcome the dreaded blank sheet of paper crisis:

  1. Smile at your enemy – the blank piece of paper. It works!
  2. Tell that writing demon inside your head to be quiet! You don’t need to listen to its negativity when facing the dreaded blank piece of paper.
  3. Task yourself with writing 20 words. Easier to cope with. Sometimes filling the entire piece of A4 paper can be daunting. Start small.
  4. Draw something. It doesn’t matter how good you are at drawing. Sketching or doodling is a good way of getting your brain to think creatively.
  5. Draw a story board and use this to kickstart your writing.
  6. Write a letter to one of your characters. Sometimes approaching writing a story from another angle helps a lot.
  7. Write a letter to a friend. Letters are a great way of firing up creative inspiration.
  8. Write down the reasons why you started writing. It’s sometimes good to refocus the mind.
  9. Write a crazy list! I love lists. The more ridiculous the list the better.
  10. Repeat ‘I can do this’ again and again to yourself. This works for me. Positive thinking kick starts creativity.
  11. Visualise your story as a film or TV drama in your head and start to scribble down some key thoughts.
  12. Encourage yourself to write badly. At this stage getting words onto the page is the important task. You can address the quality in editing.
  13. Don’t write the title of your book and ‘Chapter One’ at the top of the page. This is the quickest way to kill all creative thoughts.
  14. Don’t begin at the start. Choose a scene in your story which you like the sound of and write that. At editing you can piece it all together.
  15. Go do some washing up! This really works for me and pleases my loved one at the same time. I don’t know what it is about washing the dishes but its a creative power source.
  16. Turn off all social media.
  17. Choose a time of the day when you at your creative best. I am random and quirky between 5.30am and 7am. This is my peak time for creative thoughts. I am also deep and intense between 8.30pm and 11pm. Trying to write at other times of the day doesn’t work for me if I am struggling with a blank piece of paper.
  18. Switch on some music and have a little dance. This always works for me. It really fires up my creative juices. Just remember to stop dancing once the track stops. (I can get carried away with disco dancing in the home, dance through an entire album and then have to go lie down. Sigh! If only I was into Vlogging, I could show you all a thing or two!)

Take it easy writers and good luck with the battle!

photo credit: StockSnap

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I am a blonde writer of romantic comedy fiction.

30 thoughts on “How to Overcome The Blank Sheet of Paper #Writers #Amwriting

  1. you also need a hot cup of tea or coffee which take sips from until you realise its cold thats when it hits you how engrossed you are with the writing

  2. After reading this fine list, all I can say is, get into Vlogging.

    Seriously though, being an author nowadays requires much more that writing. If I have an off writing day, I simply spend it on marketing.

  3. Writing letters is such a good way to get started, I have experienced that myself. And you probably also make the recipent’s day (if it’s a real world person. But you could of course also write a scene in which a character receives the letter and has his/her day made…)

  4. Oo! I like #11! It’s definitely how I get started a lot, imagining what’s happening and then writing out what I see. ^.^

    Ah! #13 is so true! I never like writing ‘chapter one’ at the top of a page because it seems so much more daunting to start then. Bleh!

    #18! I think this one is one of the most important ones because people constantly think they need to sit in front of the desk all the time and stare at the page. That doesn’t help. Sometimes, the best thing to do is move! Moving inspires creativity and it forces your brain to interact with things other than just the page. After all, we don’t come up with stories in a blank box. We come up with stories based on our experiences and our surroundings. Going for a walk or dancing are really great for getting me ready to write. ^.^

  5. If I’m really stuck, I freewrite. Usually starting with something like .”I don’t know what to write.” Sometimes followed by “I really don’t know what to write!” Something usually comes eventually. 🙂

  6. My creative time of the day usually started at midnight till six in the morning. It is such a pain when I can’t find any creativity at other times.

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