Forcing the idea onto the page

Sometimes the pen feels heavier than usual. Sometimes the page looks whiter than before. We’ve all stared at that blank page, knowing that there’s an itch to write within us, but can’t, for the life of us, say the thing we want to say. We might not be “feeling it”, being not in the right state of mind to write the thing. But if we don’t write it, we melt into a gloopy mesh of uselessness, knowing we’re avoiding our purpose – to get our thoughts and ideas on paper.

So how do we prompt ourselves to get to the point? Well, let me get to the point.

  1. Start by writing around the subject. Perhaps a word vomit session to get your hand moving across the page. Your idea is sitting in your consciousness anyway, so your freewriting session might touch on your targeted topic.
  2. Next, jot down your first thought on this topic. It doesn’t have to be something you later use in the piece, but a question you might have, a quote that might have inspired the idea, or a meandering thought that has triggered this idea.
  3. Now you can go two ways from here. Either expand on this initial thought and try to build upon it, brick by brick, or jot down the second thought you have conjured. This method can be applied over and over and ultimately it helps you to build, layer and expand on the initial thought. What you might have produced may not be publish-worthy, but the good news is that you’re off the ground!

Whatever our prompt or idea might be, sometimes it’s about encouraging the prompt onto the page. These 3 simple steps help me get out of a rut and maybe they can help you too.


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