What to Do When you Can’t Write

Lately I’ve had trouble writing. It’s not that I’m out of ideas or have hit writer’s block. It’s also not that I don’t have time to write – I have the same amount of time I’ve always had. But sometimes life just does things, and often it feels like everything happens at once. For example, I’m getting ready to move to another state, my car has been in the shop and needs to go back to the shop again, and I’ve been struggling with some health challenges.

I’m not trying to complain or air all my dirty laundry here, but because of these factors, my brain has not been letting me write the way I want to. The expected stress of packing and dealing with car repairs, along with the distraction caused by ongoing pain, has drained away all my creative energy.

So what do you do when you can’t write? I wrote a post some time ago about ideas to help you get past writer’s block, and here are some more thoughts about what to do when you can’t write:


Reading a book you enjoy is simultaneously relaxing and invigorating. You can take your mind off your own writing and/or current problems, while at the same time you can be inspired with new ideas or new ways of thinking.


There are few problems that can’t be fixed by a good nap. (Or chocolate. But a nap is less fattening).

Write about Why You Can’t Write

Write a blog post like this one! Blog about why you think you’re stuck, vent all your frustrations and complaints in a journal, or even write a letter (to a real person, a fictional person, or your future self). Writing is writing and it all counts, even if it’s not part of your current project.

These tricks have been helping me the past few days, and I hope they help you, too. What do you do when you can’t write?


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