I Don't Know What to Write
Every writer gets writer's block. So why don't we try to beat it together?
I don’t know what to write.
I’m not kidding. I really don’t. I almost never do when I start something new.
You’d think after all my years of writing, this wouldn’t happen to me anymore. But it does. It happens to every writer.
It’s so common, it has a name we know all too well: writer's block. It feels as if our ideas and the words we need to express them are being blocked by something.
I don’t think this is true. I don’t think we’re blocked. I think the problem is more interesting than that.
But I know it doesn’t feel interesting. I know it feels frustrating, awkward, stressful, embarrassing, uncomfortable.
As you read this book and consider my advice, remember that I know exactly how you feel because I get writer’s block, too. All writers do.
I just look at it differently. This gives me different ways of working with it.
That’s been the key for me: learning how to work with writer’s block instead of against it.
Does this mean that if you take my advice you’ll always know what to write? No. But you’ll always have something to do when you don’t.
Not knowing what to write is the most common challenge writers face. I’ll help you meet that challenge.
I’d like your help, too. Give me feedback. Tell me what you think of my writing. Ask me questions. Help me be a better writer.
Even though writing is something we do on our own, I believe that we’re all in it together. I want you to believe this, too.
Everybody writes. This includes you. Got a phone? You write text messages. Got an email address? You write emails. Got friends? You write comments on their social media posts. We all do these kinds of writing. In these situations, there’s rarely a time when we don’t know what to write.
Why is it so easy to write in some situations and so hard to write in others? What do the easy situations have in common? It’s not just that they’re short. Many emails we write are long. Yet we have little trouble finding the words we need. Why is that?
Though we all experience writer’s block, we don’t experience it the same way. What’s your experience like? Can you give it a name? (This is not a trick to get you to write. I promise.) I call my experience, “Blank.” That’s how I feel. As if there’s not a single thought in my head. What word or phrase best describes how you feel when you don’t know what to write?