No need for any idea yet. Just opening up the white page should evoke something valuable. The ideas may only be in your head right now but we’ll mine them and get them onto the page in no time.
Like Einstein or Newton or whoever’s Law of Motion, an object at rest stays at rest. So my theory is that if you reverse that and get your fingers in motion over the keyboard, then chug-a chug-a motion like a railroad train now.
Confirm that you still know the words.
Research is a crucial step in all writing.
And yes, you remember “Locomotion.” Also that fingers in motion trick didn’t work, and now you are staring at a title and your name. That first realization that “writing is hard” hits, but that’s okay, it’s hard for everyone. If belching out words was easy, all of our greatest literary and journalistic works would have been published on Twitter. Speaking of Twitter, open up a new tab on your web browser and see if anything has happened in the last 11 minutes.
Check Instagram (posts, THEN stories) and take a quick trip over to Facebook to make sure you didn’t forget anyone’s birthday. Remember the girl from high school who was so hot but you knew that she knew that she knew that she was so hot and that made her seem stuck up, even though you both agreed that she was so hot? It’s her birthday. Maybe she deserves a mea culpa for why you were always a little cold to her. She’d probably appreciate it and respect knowing how much you’ve matured since 2002. Ah, screw it, we’ve got a deadline… just shoot her over a quick “HBD.”
Sometimes creators need inspiration. Put together a quick 20-song inspirational playlist on Spotify, mixing your favorite genres and artists who inspire.
You won’t write a successful piece if you can’t even come up with another word for “inspire.”
Now clear your extraneous mind tabs. Try a mental exercise: Think of something, anything, that is funny and could be used for inspiration. Like the guy in your building who still gets Netflix DVDs sent to him.
That’s just gonna be prying at your brain for the next hour. Might as well knock it out now and while you’re at it, do a quick once-over on the kitchen counter. After those chores are finished, consider cleaning out that one “catch-all” drawer, but realize quickly that if you did that, you’d have no time to write. And you have to write something. Writing is fun!
No more cleaning until this piece is completed. Just you and the computer screen. Just you and the distractingly smudged computer screen. You’re not going to let this sidetrack you later, so just quickly get a wipe and dust yourself clean.
A writer must be stripped of all comforts and distractions if they want the words to flow out of them like (FINISH METAPHOR LATER).
Now go back through and readjust every step number. Of course add this as a step, too.
Let’s revisit this step later.
Remember the journalism class you took when you had to buy this book? Remember how much you used to love writing? Remember the rush you’d get from finishing an essay and submitting it? Where did that go?