When will I write about something other than the avoidance of writing? Probably never, but I’m really trying to help not only myself, but hopefully other writers as well. I really will do anything to stall when it comes to writing, especially if it’s something that I really need to get done. Recently I had another large batch of dental articles to write and I was so uninspired by the end of the project that I was tempted to stall it for a week while I gave myself a mental break. I ended up meeting my deadlines and earning the pocket money as scheduled, since I’m a professional who takes pride in her work, but believe me, the temptation to bail was always there.
More recently, I’ve been tutoring high school English and am dealing with a fellow writing-avoider. Looking for ways to inspire him, I began creating exercises to get him writing. I had him write a half page on “Why I Like Dubstep.” He struggled with it and the end product wasn’t very good, but once we dissected it and figured out why it wasn’t working, he had a better idea of how to write something better. The next assignment was “Why I Hate Doing Homework” and he nearly wrote an entire page! He had two main points and fleshed them both out fairly well. He still needs more work, but if he sticks to the exercises I make for him, I can see an A+ in his future.
Jotting in a Journal
Likewise, I should do something similar. Did you know that Stephen King makes himself write 2500 words a day? I have several journals lying around, I really ought to start writing in them again to at least get some writing done. Hey, writing is writing, after all. Maybe you can assign yourself mini essays as well. Not only will you be practicing at writing, but you might also get some things off your chest or figure out a problem that was bothering you. Writing doesn’t have to be a chore, it can be therapeutic as well!
Another fire under my butt is working with others. I have a friend whose website I’m writing for and I find meeting with her helps me focus my attention on writing. Sometimes it helps just to have someone there who’s also getting work done.
If you don’t know what to write about, write anything. Even if it’s about what you had for supper, it’s still an exercise that can help you improve your writing and develop your voice.