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  • Beth Brand

5 Sure-Fire Ways To Fill A Blank Page


Everyone has a story in them. The hard part for many of us is getting that story out. And having that blank computer screen staring back at us hardly quells our anxiety.

As someone who writes every day, I have developed a few strategies to keep that blank screen at bay. These work whether you are writing a letter, a report or a book.

Strategy 1: Just start writing. Type whatever comes into your head. Be unafraid. Remember, it's on a computer screen, not a stone tablet. You can change it, rearrange it. It is so much easier to edit than to write.

Strategy 2: Ask yourself questions, and write down your answers. (This is where I go when I get stuck.) What is the point of this work? What's important? What does your reader need to know? Etc. Your written answers give you direction as well as words and sentences to work with.

Strategy 3: Tell it to a friend. Call someone up and tell them what you want to write about and why. You'll be amazed how this clarifies your thinking and gives you the words you need.

Strategy 4: Outline. There is no law that says you must begin a work in complete sentences. Begin with an outline, phrases. Then fill it in, fill it in, fill it in—and before you know it, you have a piece to edit.

Strategy 5: Take a shower...or a walk...or a nap. Stop focusing, let your head clear, allow your thoughts to settle. You'll be surprised when you go back to your desk how easily your ideas flow.

And remember, you can always call a professional writer. If writing isn't something you enjoy, why fustrate yourself. (Personally, I hate bookkeeping, so I contract that out.) Just be sure the writer you hire has experience with the type of writing you need. Ask for samples. Ask for references. Then leave the blank page to them.

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