Writer’s Block Contingency Plan

We’ve all had ’em…

…a doldrums day.



You awaken, ready for a day like this:


You’re psyched to the max!

You’re itching to write! 

Then it hits you….

“Psyched?  That’s a word my grandma would use!”

From: keyword-suggestions.com

You sigh and mumble to the dog, “What am I going to do?”

Not amused when Fido looks over at the 10 pound box of dog biscuits, and whines, you start to type.

“My dog is weird.”

You’ve moved past the sighing stage and into that part of the process where you scream out, “What!?!?  A 3rd grader writes better than this!”


Fido carefully walks away, turns around 3 times and plops down next to the open door.  He doesn’t need a degree in psychiatry to know that you never allow the mental patient to plant himself between you and your exit.

“This is a wasted day,” you say to no one in particular.  “Might as well take the dog for a walk.”

You instantly regret this pronouncement when you remember that the furred cur squealing and leaping in front of the doorway understands 3 words:  Fido, dinner, and walk.


What if you could start over again without expectations?  

What if you stopped perseverating over the LEFT part of the picture


And focused on the RIGHT part of the picture.


!!!Contingency plan!!!

When you live in a place where natural disasters are the norm, you should have a contingency plan. 

A writer’s mind is one of those places.  

You know there are going to be floods in Louisiana, earthquakes in California, tornadoes in Oklahoma, blizzards in Canada, and hurricanes in Florida.  If you don’t have a contingency plan in place, and live through your mistake, you’ll not be caught without one a second time.

I’ll share 4 ideas from my contingency plan that might help you make a doldrums day more productive:

  1.  Stop trying to write.  Look at other people’s blogs.  Write an encouraging sentence in reply to a post you liked.  It doesn’t have to be poetic or profound to be appreciated, and it could help someone else have a productive day.
  2. Edit.  Dredge up one of the poems/stories/books you’d saved and never bothered to look at again.  Read it as if someone else wrote it. Rename it by putting the date at the end so you’ll know when you last edited it, and start slashing the parts that bore the snot out of you.
  3. Get past the problem by doing something mindless.  Clean out your refrigerator, rearrange a shelf, look over your budget, sort through the mail that you piled up on the desk when your creativity was on maximum overdrive.
  4.  Get over it.  Take your dog for a walk and plan to try again tomorrow.