Now, the second strategy, the one I’m more of a fan of, is as follows; FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DON’T WRITE ANYTHING. These two strategies may at first seem contradictory, and upon further inspection, they are. But it doesn’t mean that they each don’t have value. The second strategy suggests that maybe the reason you don’t have anything to write about is because you’ve emptied everything out of your head and your heart. The solution is to take the time to fill those two things back up. But how?
Try reading something. Whether it’s a novel or a blog or a book of poetry, seeing how someone else has taken words and thoughts and built them into something remarkable can often inspire you to do the same. There is great value to be found in being inspired by and agreeing with the thoughts of others. There is equal or possibly greater value in being challenged by and finding fault with the thoughts of others. Recently, a local government came up with some “new ideas” for tax reform that have been generally dismissed as ineffectual at best and counterproductive at worst. But several people have made an interesting observation about these measures. It’s one thing to say “I don’t like that idea”. That’s one, simple, weak sentence. But it is quite another to explain why, to introduce alternative beliefs and refute the ideas of others. So rather than writing one simple disagreement, try putting into words why you object and what you would do differently.
Try walking somewhere. I live in a remarkable city full of interesting people, unique businesses, breathtaking vistas and inspiring neighborhoods. And yet most of us spend the vast majority of our day sitting in front of a screen. And when we are out walking the streets, we make sure that our phone screens are planted in front of our faces.
Finally, there is now nothing you cannot learn, online, for free. And the experience of educating yourself, on any topic, is one that will open your eyes (and hopefully your pen) to new ideas and concepts. Companies like Coursera are doing everything they can to educate the world. From Music Theory to Statistics and every possible topic in between, try learning something other than the best way to beat the level boss in Bioshock Infinite.
And then, when you’ve read something, gone for a walk, interacted with people, and learned something, I promise you, your head and heart will be renewed and you can get off your ass and start writing again.