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Story Ideas for Writers: Filling the Blank Page

Drawing a Blank

The dreaded blank page. We’ve all seen it. At least computer page backgrounds can be changed to a soft parchment hue - tempering their judgmental tone. Of course, at that point, keying nonsense on the page (just to write something) seems a little blasphemous. I mean...Arial babble on parchment?! Wrong, all wrong.

Some experts say it’s a mindset caused by distraction, pressure and anxiety; others claim an underlying medical condition wherein the brain’s instinctual limbic and creative cerebral cortex centers wrestle for control, resulting in zero creative flow. I get cerebral cortex is a lover, not a fighter...and once it’s pinned to the mat, I might as well just get up and do another load of laundry and try to fill the blank page another day.

Back now from the laundry and grabbing another cup of Raspberry Zinger tea…

It can all boil down to the time of day you decide to write, the pen (or keyboard) used, or where you do your writing...or unreasonable expectations causing stress.

Enviably, some can produce a great ten-page term paper in a couple hours (my college roommate comes to mind); for others, pressure is paralyzing. Decide where you fall in that spectrum, then go do another load of laundry and refill your tea mug, because I’m not going to recommend any obvious time-management methods or fancy meditative centering.

Not that those don’t work, but they won’t fill the page RIGHT NOW.

Restarting Again

Story starters, memory joggers...these should be in every writer’s toolbox. Below are three sites offering story ideas, writing prompts and brainstorming activities for all genres.

Comprehensive site offering free writing resources, online classes, tools for teachers and publishing information. My newest bookmarked site!

The Writer’s Digest mag site has free and paid subscription-based resources and tutorials; offers a free ebook The Writing Prompt Boot Camp when subscribing to their free email newsletter.

Exhaustive prompts and exercises to resuscitate your cerebral cortex. Exhaustive. Great stuff!

No excuses. You started writing because you wanted to be a writer. If it were easy, it wouldn’t be earned, right? So ease up on yourself a bit...put that business hat on (or maybe a silly hat if it disarms your bully limbic brain center), and get back on track. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be SOMETHING.


Do you have unique tips to chip away at writer's block? Comment below!

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