How to Write When You Really Want to Take a Nap

J Dana Stahl
5 min readOct 23, 2022

Staring at a blank screen is like watching paint dry. The cursor mocks you as you contemplate topics that might be worthy of seeing the light of day. Is your piece too silly, too serious, too funny, not funny enough? The litany of self-doubting questions is endless, and we could go on for hours talking about all the things that make us insecure about putting our creativity out there.

I’ve recently discovered something about my own writing habits. When I can’t think of anything to write, I give myself a writer’s pass to do ALL. THE. THINGS. that aren’t writing.

That laundry? An absolute must-do-now activity when you’re stumped for words. The same goes for dishes, vacuuming, and dusting. As soon as you realize your idea-maker isn’t making crap, you decide to do ANYTHING that will distract you from the fact that you’re a writer with NO words. Same here. I get it.

When you discover the anti-creativity forcefield surrounding you, it’s easy to come up with plenty of reasons to do non-creative things. Sound familiar? That’s because we writers struggle with many of the same things!

Writing is a dirty job. You’re down in the muck, digging for words and hoping you discover something to fill in all the blanks. You might step in crap, you might fall down, and you’ll probably write some things you’re not proud of. (Haven’t we all?!)

BUT…if you stick it out, you’ll often end up with a gem or two amongst the wreckage. And those tiny little writing gems? They make it all worthwhile.

Here’s a quick idea guide to energize your inner muse and help you to get your creative juices flowing.

How to Bust Your Writing Slump & Sling Exceptional Words onto the Page

Hear me out…your word-slinging may not immediately result in the next Nobel Prize-winning publication, BUT the idea is to free up your creativity and get some words onto the page. If what you write sucks, that’s what editing is for. Because as a Jodi Picoult said…

You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.

J Dana Stahl

I’m a dreamer who believes there might just be a smidgeon of good left in this world. I believe in being nice, playing fair, and tacos...lots of tacos.