6 Hacky Hacks To Trick Yourself Into Writing More

A girl wizard in a robe mixing a bowl concoction for a spell, Harry Potter style

This may come as a surprise to you, but you’re a very motivated writer.

I know this because I’m super avoidant when it comes to writing, yet I’m still able to coax my mind into writing, especially when I have no idea where to start.

And you know how the cliche goes—if I can do it, so can you.

Look, I’m not one for hacks and shortcuts, but if we writers need anything, it’s the solution to procrastination, because God knows I need to stop washing and re-inking my fountain pens whenever it’s time to write.

So this is where I divulge the tactics that actually work for me. Through them, I’m able to I fill up the WordPress editor, word by word, until I get something barely publishable.

And I’ll take ‘barely’ over ‘nothing’ every day of the week. Especially if it’s a Tuesday. Because that’s publishing day.

But don’t take my word for it. Try them yourself and see if they help.

1. Write a list

Bullet points, numbers, roman numerals, whatever your preference, they’ll help you get your thoughts on paper.

We’ve explored how writing letters can actually persuade your mind to write under the guise that it’s not actually writing. It’s how you sell someone an MLM subscription by saying it’s not a pyramid scheme.

That’s why writing lists work. Because with the article, you’ll need prose, and flow, and images, and facts, and the list (heh) goes on. 

Substitute all that with bullet points and you’ll find yourself coming up with the actual meat of the story. You can then marvel at yourself for your prowess in crafting skeletons which you can slowly flesh out.

It’s the lowering of the stakes that helps your mind focus on the facts, without the pressure of having to ‘sound good’.

Want to take things one step further? Scroll down to the comments section below and type—in comment form—what your article’s going to be about. Seriously. Do it. Because I read every comment and will be able to provide you the moral support you need.

Then, if you so choose, don’t click on the Post Comment button and instead copy-paste into a text editor of some sort. Voila! You now have a couple of paragraphs to serve as the premise of your article. That wasn’t so hard, was it?

Worst case scenario is that you can treat this practice as a warm-up. Then go ahead and write an actual list.

Too long, didn’t read: Use bullet points instead of paragraphs to get to the meat of your story.

A hand writing a to-do list with ball pen

One, write a killer intro. Two, delete the intro. Photo: Glenn Carstens-Peter

2. Sort out your life

The above list aside, I need to know, do you have an actual to-do list that you haven’t gotten around to clearing? Maybe your messy kitchen has plagued your mind for a week now, or your dog’s vet appointment is due.

This is where some procrastination from writing is merited. Go ahead and check off the task that’s bothering you for the day, because sometimes it’s worth addressing life’s issues so that you can have a clear mind at the blank page.

Sure, sometimes that would mean not having enough time to write, because maybe you have too many fountain pens to wash and re-ink, but that doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It just shows you what you need to do in life, and how you can make time for more writing.

This is why the early mornings pose such an allure to busy writers—it’s the best part of the day to pursue your goals before all the world’s worries come knocking on your door.

So go ahead and deal with whatever life has for you. Because there’s nothing better than having undivided attention for writing.

Too long, didn’t read: Clear your mind for writing by ensuring that you don’t have pressing matters to attend to (such as bills or an expectant boss).

A woman in grey top sitting at a mountaintop meditating

Tranquil writing is something everybody needs to experience at least once. Photo: Milan Popovic

3. Do your time

So now you have undivided attention for writing. What are you going to do with it? I’ll tell you. It’s time to do your time.

Think of it like a video game, where your HP only heals when you’re on friendly territory. And you better think of the blank page as friendly territory, even though some of you may see it as hostile.

Once you have more time and can sit at the keyboard with impunity, we now have to focus on staying there. That means no standing back up to admire your fountain pen collection, and definitely no revisiting your to-do list. Also, don’t think I don’t know the loopholes you’re planning to take, because ‘research’ does not factor into this time.

This method is pretty simple. You’re going to sit at the blank page, and you’re going to write. Failing that, you’re just going to do nothing. You may squirm, or feel the impulse to check your phone. Stop that. You need to be here, now. It gets easier to deal with the pain. I promise.

If you need the help of mental imagery, simply picture yourself gaining power every second you sit before your word processor. Collect enough power points (it could be minutes, hours, days) and you’ll automatically convert them into words on page.

Don’t believe me? Try it. There’s a reason why Neil Gaiman does this exact same thing.

In jiu-jitsu, we call this mat time, and there’s no way you can fake mat time. The only way to improve is by being on the mats. It doesn’t matter what colour belt you wear, the moment we spar, the truth will come to the fore. There’s nowhere to hide, unless of course you avoid mat time completely.

It’s the same for writing. Your output is connected to the cumulative time you actually spend at your word processor/notepad/cave wall.

So don’t lie to yourself. Do your time.

Too long, didn’t read: Be honest with yourself and actually spend time writing (or at least attempting). You’ll be amazed at what you can do as long as you don’t cave and start browsing YouTube.

Horse caged behind bars

You might feel caged, but every second you spend at the blank page does imbue you with special powers. Trust me I’m a writer. Photo: Ian Schneider

4. Water your plants, snowflake

I first devised this method as the ‘water my plants’ technique, but I would later learn that it’s actually known as the Snowflake Method. 

What is it, you ask? In its simplest form, the Snowflake Method simply involves coming up with a word or phrase. Then you expand on that. Then expand on that. Then ex—you get the picture.

Let’s try this: think of a word related to your article. Is it ‘productivity’? No? How about ‘motivation’? Still cold? Oh, I know. It’s gotta be ‘procrastination’ isn’t it? That’s what you’re doing now, after all.

Okay, so we have our word. Now what is it about procrastination that you’d like to write about? Is it how terrible you feel when bingeing on my posts while not writing? Or is it the sick feeling you get when you catch a glimpse of your reflection in the monitor while your hundredth YouTube video is loading?

Don’t worry if it showcases your warts too much. It’s authentic, and the more authentic, the better. People love authentic. 

Now that we’ve established our premise, let’s talk angle. Do you want other people to relate? Or do you want to figure a way out of this cursed affliction? Write that down.

Once you have a few sizeable paragraphs, pick another word or phrase to expound on. Do that enough times and you could end up with a book. That’s what the Snowflake Method was created for anyway—novels.

Too long, didn’t read: Start with a word. Expand that word into a sentence. Turn that sentence into a paragraph. Repeat.

A few snowflakes on someone's pants

Use the snowflake method, but don’t be one. Deal? Photo: Darius Cotoi

5. Debate yourself

You know how they ask you to understand both sides of an argument so that you can debate a point better? Try doing that for your article.

Because if you’re procrastinating from writing said article, you’ll have tons of reasons why you shouldn’t write, right? So list down all your concerns:

  • People will think this topic is stupid
  • The solutions are all gimmicky
  • Even if they like the techniques, my anecdotal experience doesn’t exactly lend itself to credibility

Why is this useful? Because lists help, remember?

Another reason is that you’ll might actually learn something from your own replies. Replies that will help spice up your article. So your list could end up looking like this:

  • People will think this topic is stupid. Not unless I write it for a specific avatar.
  • The solutions here are all gimmicky. That’s why I’ll need to throw in some cheesy analogies to distract them from this fact. Fountain pens sound good.
  • No credibility. I’ll namedrop someone famous like Neil Gaiman. Boom. Instant credibility. 

One more benefit of poking holes in your article is that it frees you from being too attached to your story, allowing you to take a more objective approach.

Too long, didn’t read: Argue against your story. Writing the counterpoints is actually a whole lot of fun. Plus, it helps you argue better points.

One man wearing the Anonymous hackers group mask kicking another person

You’ll make better points when you give your ideas a little boot. Photo: Ahmed Zayan

6. Draw with words

I don’t mean actual drawing, writing as if you’re doodling words onto the page. Do you like how ‘hullabaloo’ sounds? Try shoehorning it into your article. Or write an entire paragraph without using the word ‘and’.

Do funky stuff like that. Doodling is playful, and so should your word-doodles be.

Writing drills like this can also result in words you can actually use in your article. Try this: pick a paragraph or story, then rewrite it for a totally different reader avatar.

For instance, how would I structure a story to best appeal to a mother of two in Europe? And how would that change if I were to instead write for someone who specialises in old movies? You’d bet I’d be reading up on motherly challenges and silver-screen lingo respectively.

And while we’re at it, who do you think I wrote this article for? I’ll give you a hint: it wouldn’t sing to you if you’re not primarily a WordPress user, or if you don’t enjoy writing.

There are tons of ways to doodle-write (I also call it sketch writing), but rewriting the same piece for a specific avatar is a skill that will carry over into other digital marketing pursuits. So get to ‘drawing’.

Too long, didn’t read: Pick a paragraph or article. Rewrite it for different reader profiles. See how your content changes. And keep things playful, like a doodle.

A doodle of a woman with random patterns on her skni

Doodling needn’t make sense. Or it can. It’s up to you. Photo: Sijmen van Hooff

In the end, it’s all about growth

I should let you know that I’m in the ‘write every day’ camp. Don’t wait for inspiration, always show up, be a professional, yada yada. 

But I also appreciate the little things that help us writers get by, like having a 250-word daily target, or rewarding yourself with ice-cream for every chapter (not recommended).

Sometimes we need to finesse our way into writing, and other times we have to take a hammer to the keyboard. Either way, we need tools, and the more we have, the better our chances of dealing with whatever obstacles the writing gods decide to throw our way.

So here’s my toolbox to you, in hopes that you’ll see something that you can keep for your own. May you benefit from these little gimmicks that I sometimes use to coax myself into writing.

But whatever you do, you leave my fountain pens alone. Because I’m keeping those for myself.


Just because you don’t get my fountain pens don’t mean that you can’t get more exclusive goodies in my newsletter. So give me your email address for more content like this.

132 thoughts on “6 Hacky Hacks To Trick Yourself Into Writing More

  1. I have devoured (dramatic pause here) at least 3 posts of your posts this morning. All of them are very helpful for this beginner. The bit about procrastination fits me to a T! (As you undoubtedly noticed; tomorrow is publishing day). I write lists, and sort out my life, but need improvement on doing my time. I will add watering my plants and doodling to my writer backpack. Thanks again!

    Like

    • I’m honoured that you’d spared me your time! And yeah, I’m like a black belt in procrastination, so I do know a thing or two about putting things off, lol. Just need to get my black belt in DEALING with procrastination. Again, I appreciate you stopping by!

      Like

  2. Such great tips! Thanks for sharing!
    I often struggle with desperately wanting to write but I sit in front of my computer or with pen in hand and nothing comes out or I’m hindered by ideas of what others will say or think about my writing.

    I love that you put an emphasis on lists, I was actually thinking of writing about lists, I’ve noticed they have been a big help in writing and life in general.

    Like

    • What you’ve mentioned in the first paragraph sounds very much like perfectionism, like you’re hoping to pen your BEST WORK EVER, and that’s giving you pause in actually creating.

      I say flip the script. Aim to create the worst thing you possibly can. You’ll find that it’s not so bad after all. Good luck, and thanks for stopping by so many times, Lillian! I appreciate you :)

      Like

  3. Wow, this came at a PERFECT time! I just got through writing a post on procrasination and how it might be the death of me. Thanks so much for writing this! I’m going to be referring to it in the future.

    Like

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  5. You’ve got a great writing style…so easy to read, and clear and concise. I’m a big fan of bullet points. They help get out everything I want to say, then it’s just going back and filling in the rest. Cleaning and re-inking fountain pens is also very theraputic! Thanks for the rest of the tips as well!

    Like

    • Interesting how writing becomes that much easier when everything’s lined out in bullet points, eh?

      And I have to admit, sometimes I find re-inking fountain pens a bit cumbersome, especially if I have a bunch of ink I want to try.

      Seasoning my cast iron pan, on the other hand, is pretty danged therapeutic, lol. Anyway, thanks for stopping by!

      Like

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  7. Really inspiring, writing can be 😢😢😢.

    I recently adopted putting my thoughts into bullet points before developing each point.

    I’ll try other suggestions from the article.

    Thanks for being an inspiration

    Like

    • Bullet points are real hacks, especially when I don’t feel like writing. Basically, anything that doesn’t feel like writing does make me feel like writing more. Weird how that works, eh?

      Hope you find your own equation soon, and that you can smash your writing goals for 2022! Also, thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  8. I wouldn’t be caught dead with a fountain pen. It sounds like too much work. 😂

    I think my greatest difficulty in writing lies in consistency. When I start writing, I could go on foreverrrrr, but the second I put down the pen, my writing brain goes into hibernation mode and I go back to consuming content rather than creating it.

    I do appreciate the tips, though! This was an easy, enjoyable read.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol the effort required to maintain fountain pens is made up by the lack of it when writing. But I respect your thoughts regardless.

      Btw that’s an interesting way you go about the writing process. So maybe your focus should be on how to start writing more, so that you have more exposure to your endless writing streaks :P

      I can totally relate to the second part of that though, that is to have a hibernating brain that’s always in consume mode, lol.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Like

  9. I usually do Point 1 when writing my chapters. Bullet points with a summary, and then expansion. Then tie it all up together with tie-in paragraphs. It works pretty good most of the time.
    2) I actually do need to clean my room. I have a bad habit of not folding my laundry. My bed basically has a mattress protector made of clothes. That said, there is also the little things, like floor repair, student and gutter loan bills, and drama garbage that likes to get in the way. Oddly enough, I have the most ideas and desires to write when I am at work, far away from all the garbage. Then I get home and it all is sucked away. I actually write best when I’m alone, too.
    3) YouTube is my nemesis. A siren promising relaxation, but all it costs is your entire day and motivation. But in general, But when I can’t think of what to write or expand on the chapter, usually I just write something else. It doesn’t matter what. And if I like it, I’ll save it for later for future expansion.
    4) Never heard of that method. I usually think in terms of sentences or paragraphs, and keep building off of that until the chapter runs out of steam.
    5) This will be easy to do. I argue with myself all the time.
    6) Never heard of this nor have I ever tried anything similar. Very interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, I love your point-by-point exploration. It’s weird that your motivation to write disappears at home. Is the mess the actual thing that demotivates you? Potential for self-discovery right there.

      And yeah, I totally feel you on writing best when alone. But lately I’ve been forcing myself to write in less ideal situations, just for ‘training’, ya know? So writing with noise, with people walking around the house, with rap music playing, etc.

      I appreciate your well thought out comments every time you stop by. Thanks for making the time!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I loved this article, it is full of ways to find inspiration. As I recently re started my blog I am trying to find different techniques to get to writing, and in this post I found some tricks I really want to try. I especially liked the doodling trick, I believe it’s brilliant and I will try it for sure. Thank you!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s so great to hear! Here’s to hoping you get a fruitful journey from your return to the blogosphere. Also, a heads up, I wanted to visit your blog through your profile, but it seems to point to a dead link. Might want to update your Gravatar account?

      Also, I hope the tricks work out for you. Worst case scenario: plop butt on chair and fingers on keyboard, lol. Thanks for your kind words!

      Like

  11. This is really a good article. Thank you so much. As Beginner I am really motivated and inspired and really got a cool idea how to write an article..😍😍

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Love this list! So many great points. I find it’s so hard to start but once I’ve started it gets easier (sometimes). I try to tell myself anything can be accomplished if broken into smaller actionable steps. Also, love the “too long didn’t read” parts 😄

    Liked by 2 people

    • Breaking big vague goals into smaller actionable tasks is a skill indeed, and it does help us get over the fear of tackling such grandiose plans. Sometimes it’s the conversion where we get stuck, since it requires some thinking. Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by!

      Like

  13. I love the “too long, didn’t read” summaries!
    I love lists. Sometimes I do a task that wasn’t on my list, then write it on my list just to cross it off. Sad? Maybe, but also satisfying.
    Here’s one more tip for garnering that free time to write, especially in the mornings: don’t adopt kittens. Good grief! My mornings are no longer my own. Perhaps when they’re older things will calm down, and I know lots of writers have a cat or two, but in case any writers out there are considering kittens, think again.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lol I do that too! Sometimes, even when I don’t need certain items to be on my list due to habit (chores, exercise, meditation), I’ll still list them down and check them off on the days when I need that extra boost.

      And perhaps the kitten thing will change once they grow older. I know my dog was the same when she was a puppy. Enjoy your kitten journey, and great advice to other writers considering pets! Loved that you stopped by.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Welcome to the writing world, and I hope you stick around! Sure, there might be more bad days than good ones, but it’s the showing up that counts. I hope that wasn’t too cliche. Once more, I appreciate your support!

      Like

    • Lol, that’s not to say you’ll be free from it though. If anything, my procrastination has evolved to take these tactics into account, and it’s a constant game of cat and mouse. Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Like

  14. Great post Stuart 😊! Thanks for these wonderful hacks. I struggle with procrastination and I would definitely try a few of these hacks when I am staring at the blank editor next time. A few years ago I used to search for random topics and prompts to write a post. Now, I think I have a lot of topics to write about but somehow still struggle to consistent with my blog. I hope this new year I can write more and write better because it really does bring me joy! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isn’t it weird that something that brings us joy still takes so much effort go get started on? I too know that writing is the thing for me, and that I can’t imagine myself doing anything else, but the moment I’m face to face with the blank page, all plans on writing go out the window. Wishing you all the best with your writing plans for 2022!

      Like

  15. These are all great tips! I’m not writing at the moment because I want to give some time to some other hobbies I’m hoping to pick up on this year, so a blog post or journal entry has been the most I’ve done so far. I am hoping to write a short story and maybe edit one of my drafts when the chance arises. Thanks for writing this!

    Liked by 2 people

    • All in good time. Sometimes we only have so many hours in our day, and we’ll have to prioritise which items we want to execute for the day. It’s a constant juggle, one that requires a lot of trial and error before we find our flow. Still, I’m wishing you all the best with your writing plans for 2022! And thanks for stopping by, Mariella!

      Like

  16. Oooh I’ve spent many many “writing” hours staring at blank page or one/two sentences and then I need up my phone for “inspiration”. And the blank page continues to be blank!! Haha… I really need to persist with staring at the blank page. But I have started implementing the snowflake method and it’s been working… bit by bit everyday…! Thanks for sharing all your writing wisdoms! X

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heya Suzanne! Yeah, and I suspect that I should take a hint or two from you when it comes to clearing your mind. And approaching the blank page with a blank mind is bliss indeed. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. #2 is wise. Because here is the other thing that can happen when you start writing without sorting out your life. I went to a writing retreat with my life in complete disarray and I had a great time and started my first fiction piece. Sounds great, right? Except then the writing retreat leaders were encouraging everyone to set these ambitious writing goals and I kinda wanted to, except then I remember the rest of my life was still in a state of complete disarray and I’d have to deal with that before I could focus on fiction.

    I really like #5. Gets you out of your own head a bit by making you debate yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think a lot of us carry tons of baggage in real life, yet we don’t address the issues we have—however tiny a step—before we start writing, and it sucks trying to write when you know you have a pending life task.

      It’s a skill though, isn’t it? I for one know that there are problems I don’t wish to confront sometimes, but that’s a necessary evil.

      Thanks so much for your thoughts, JYP. I appreciate you!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Great article Stuart. Maybe I will be able to employ some of the devices. I, unfortunately, suffer from BSO (bright shiny objects) syndrome so whatever grabs my fancy I run with. I am currently obsessing with a topic scheduled for mid-May while the articles due in 2 weeks lay ignored…. I also tend to start at the end and work backward.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, I’ve always been meaning to start at the end and work backwards, but I could never employ that effectively. Not in blogging, nor in fiction. And BSO is such a mood, lol. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Danny!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Hey pal! I’m so tempted to ‘steal’ your “Too long, didn’t read” device. What a nifty idea!! But to do that, I’ll need to be like you, to have this many pearls of wisdom in one post. Sadly I’m not there yet. Maybe some day…anyhow, thanks as always for teaching us so generously! Always look forward to your posts!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re always welcome to apply any ideas that pop into your head, Kelvin! I hope to see a TLDR section in your posts soon. Anyway, I always look forward to your comments, so I guess the feeling is mutual :P

      I appreciate you!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Hey I tried out the list one and it really works! I’ve been stumped for weeks with writing anxiety and doing this list technique felt very non-threatening and low-commitment. It helped me break through the anxiety. This is an article to bookmark!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh yeah. More and more I’m learning that writing is just a mindset thing. I can do the exact thing I was resisting just a moment ago if I just think differently. The list method is one such example.

      Great to have your thoughts on putting these tactics in practice, Hetty!

      Liked by 2 people

  21. This was awesome and very helpful. I sometimes freak out when thinking about having to write every day post National Novel Writers Month. But these suggestions are worth trying out because heaven knows I could stand to write a bit more regularly. Also, I too have a thing for pens. I was just recently gifted my first calligraphy pen set, I can’t wait to use them…I’m more of a clicky pen person. Annoying? Yes. Good for my nerves? Also yes. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, calligraphy sets are always fun to play with, and it’s so cool that you got gifted one. I like clicky pens for their convenience, but I’ve yet to find one that lays a consistent line except for Uniball Jetstream. This is where I appreciate pencils, because they’re ‘always on’ and never dry out. I probably also overthink stationery, lol. Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. hahah the part about you only ever being most interested in cleaning and gawking at your fancy fountain pens most is when you’re supposed to be writing is veryyyy relatable… I, too, am most motivated to do as many other things as possible- other than write when I should be writing lol…

    My post tomorrow is very similar to this one so I am curious to see your thoughts! :) Great tips! We are the same! :)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lol, that’s the best part about WordPress, in learning that other people relate or that so many of us are the same after all. And I guess picking up writing is a great way to get the chores done, so it’s not a total loss sometimes :P

      Thanks so much for your comment. Am definitely going to check out your post now!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. I love this post, and this glimpse into the writing process for you. It’s always amazing to me to get a peek into the different ways other people get their creative juices flowing. One other way for me, is to just start writing a poem. For whatever reason, crafting in (free) verse makes whatever I want to START saying flow more easily.

    Thanks again for this post. Permission to share it with my young writers? I think they’d get a kick out of this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, now that’s a great idea. I think I’ll have to try the poem thing real soon, because there’s never a shortage of moments when I can’t get myself to write.

      And yes, I’d be honoured if you shared my posts, so there’s no need to ask for permission, lol. I appreciate you, Lainie!

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Thanks Stuart…now I want ice cream.
    And I’ll leave your fountain pens alone if you leave my notebooks alone.
    In all seriousness though, you have once again given me food for thought. As a writer I know how easy it is to procrastinate: I’m sure we’re all professionals at it.
    I do like the idea of checking one thing off the list each day so we can write. In my case some of that list includes writing so is that killing two birds with one stone? (And no birds are actually harmed in the process.)
    Thank you for a thought-provoking and entertaining post. I enjoy them all. :)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ha. I meant ice cream as a passing reference, but now I too am craving it. Dammit.

      And lists are pretty miraculous tools that’s for sure. I use quite a few, in their many different ways, and they do take the pressure away from writing (or at least help me retain my bad ideas).

      Always great to see you here, Diane. Thanks for visiting!

      Liked by 1 person

  25. I love the article and the too long to read summaries at the bottom of each point. I think I’ve got this procrastination bug but I just realized now 😅. Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 3 people

  26. Item #2 resonated. I’ve got so much on my real life plate that I am struggling for inspiration. Of course, feeling overwhelmed is causing me to procrastinate and avoid and my pile grows ever larger. Ugh. I knew, of course, that I had a lot to do, but I was feeling discouraged by a lack of inspiration and this helped me to recognize a probable roadblock. So, thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You know, every time I write, I just set out to compile information I think would be useful, but then a comment like yours comes along and I feel like all the work is worth it. You’ve made my day with your comment, so thanks for that!

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome! I do really appreciate your posts. It really helps sometimes just to be reminded of things that might otherwise seem obvious. I know my brain gets terribly crowded and in those times the best and simplest solutions get obscured and a little nudge is totally necessary and appreciated.

        Liked by 1 person

  27. You have given me good tips for ideas. When I began writing two decades ago, my writing mentor Gerry Petievich of “To Live and Die in LA” fame said ‘Writers need to have buns of steel.” That’s your mat time.

    Liked by 3 people

    • You know what they say, the more you write, the more it flows. Which is contrary to what we usually think of ‘I just wrote 1,000 words so I’m out of words’.

      And thank YOU for your excellent comment as usual!

      Like

  28. Great tips Stu. I love the idea of doodle writing. I often find when I get writers block it’s because I’m ignoring something more important I should be attending to. It’s important to remember that writing/art is a support system for life not the other way round (I think Steven King said that.) Cheers Stu 🙏

    Liked by 4 people

    • Isn’t it weird how that works? I too have found that to be the case, but it took quite a while to realise that my life affected my writing. Maybe that’s why I write better when I’m feeling down, because in those moments, I don’t really care about my day-to-day anymore. But on the days when I have a long to-do list, writing often goes out the window. Thanks so much for stopping by, btw!

      Liked by 2 people

  29. Oof, I needed this. This is amazing. Especially that point about attending to life responsibilities, which is something that isn’t mentioned often in posts like this.
    It’s easy to get so caught up that you forget what a clear head actually feels like.
    Thanks for sharing, Stuart.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh yeah, that’s a fairly new realisation for me too, only because I’ve been stuck in writing thanks to neglecting my life duties. But even then, our life duties can go on forever, so for me, I make sure to determine my main tasks for the day. Thanks so much for stopping by, Joanne!

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Thank you for these suggestions! It has always interested me how I can enjoy something yet avoid it at the same time. However, I especially appreciate the tip to argue the counterpoints. I’m going to play with these ideas and incorporate them into my next posts. Very helpful.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Lol, you’d be surprised at the extra points you get from arguing counterpoints. I hope you’d try that and share your experience! And yeah, I too enjoy writing (it’s my life’s work, really) yet when it comes to doing it, I find a thousand excuses to procrastinate. Thanks so much for visiting, btw!

      Liked by 2 people

  31. Wow, absolutely love the idea of treating the blank page as mat time (I’m coming from a yoga perspective not jujitsu but it’s not that different—getting TO the mat can be the hardest part). Fantastic post!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Lol, anything that involves mats really do share the same concepts, don’t they? I don’t think yoga is any different at all. But yes, it’s actually surprisingly effective to just sit there at the blank page. Thanks so much for stopping by, Erin!

      Liked by 3 people

  32. This is uh ma zing, Stu!
    I was reeled in by the email notif from WordPress and I really this article. I’ll definetely think about using one of these if I’m out of ideas. Thank you so much! It’s actually your writing style that attracts me as much as your message, to be honest. Reading as a writer has never been like reading as a reader. ‘Oh my gosh that was a good plot twist!’ is usually replaced by, ‘D’you reckon this was plotted? Or was it pantsed at first?’ or ‘Was that an en dash or an em dash?’
    Good post Stu!!!! Keep writing and happy 3k+ followers!
    P.S. I usually go by Redoubtable Writing, but I’m not logged in on this device.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Lovely comment as usual. And em dash forever. It’s either hyphens or em dashes for me. En dashes only appear in their too-niche uses, so we don’t see a lot of them here :P

      And I’ve always enjoyed your comments, because you really do know how to make a writer’s day. Thanks for keeping track, and I was definitely stoked for 3k!

      But also, I appreciate you!

      Liked by 2 people

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