Writing Advice

How to Beat a Blank Page

Every writer has been there. You have time in your schedule, you have a story you want to write and you’re ready to go.

But instead of pounding out words, you stare at a blank page. Sometimes you do it for minutes, sometimes you do it for hours. You write a sentence, then delete it.

What do you do?

The first thing to do is to eliminate the fear of messing up. Far too often, it’s that fear that holds writers back. So don’t worry about creating a messy first draft. Everyone does! Instead, just start putting words onto the page, and revise later.

If you’ve eliminated the fear of messing up and still can’t beat that blank page, here are 4 tips to help get the words flowing:

  1. Set a timer. Once it’s on, write like crazy until it goes off. Put your phone away, turn your internet off, and just write. You’ll be amazed how much you get done.
  2. Turn your text white. I don’t personally do this, but a lot of people will turn their text white (if they’re using a white background), so that they can’t overthink their writing.
  3. Compete in word sprints. Lots of writing communities have spaces dedicated to sprinting. The rules are simple: find an opponent, set a time, and then try to write as many words as possible.
  4. Use Write or Die (or a similar website). There’s nothing quite like blaring sirens and a flashing red screen to keep you writing!

If none of that works for you, sometimes you need to look for a deeper problem. If your mental energy is too low to write, it’s okay to take a break. Similarly, if you simply have no enthusiasm for a project, see if you can find fresh inspiration.

With those tools in your back pocket, go out and crush that blank page!

What tricks do you use that I haven’t mentioned here?

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