Words – how do you cope when they won’t come?

Words, Wonderful Words

frustrated writer

As a writer, you want the words you choose to remain true to your voice. How do you manage when your carefully planned scene loses the impact your wanted to portray doesn’t come across because your brain can’t relate it to your fingers? You write WORDS but they’re not the ones you envisioned using and they don’t flow smoothly. Your writing is choppy and disjointed – kinda like mine is right now.

Do you:

  1. Read over the last of what you worked on the previous day to get reacquainted with your characters and setting?
  2. Throw your hands up in frustration and stomp around the room?
  3. Bash your head against the wall or surface of your computer desk?
  4. Take long cleansing breaths and go off and do something else to clear your mind – like take the dog for a walk (assuming you have a dog to walk), go for a walk by yourself?

Does listening to music help you when you’re struggling to find the right words? Or do you prefer complete silence.

Depending on where I’m working, my writer’s toolbox includes a dictionary and thesaurus. But if I’m working on my laptop and space is at premium (outside in a lawn chair comes to mind), while I still refer to both of the aforementioned books, I tend to use online versions instead. These are my favourites.


I’m just back from doing Option #4 (sans dog much to his chagrin) so we’ll see if that had any impact.

Do you have any tricks that work for you when you’re struggling with your writing?

8 thoughts on “Words – how do you cope when they won’t come?”

  1. I like #3, although it doesn’t work and DOES give me a headache which further hampers the writing. I generally write the drivel, mark it in red to be re-done and move on …. if I can…you know, that headache thingy. Sometimes I close my eyes and try to dream my way through the scene, then try to write what I have visualized…providing that ‘close eyes and dream’ part didn’t lead to a nap….sigh, writing is HARD.

  2. I hear ya, Dorothy! I’m afraid with the way I’ve been sleeping/not sleeping, closing the eyes and visualizing a scene, the only thing that would be happening is Zzzzz… Zzzzz… Zzzzz – well you get the picture.

    I finished this blog post after getting back from my walk then got another one written and scheduled for Canada Day. Okay, so neither one had anything to do with my WIP, but at least the words flowed a bit easier.

  3. #4 works best for me. Sometimes the old brain just needs a re-boot. I usually take a walk. It’s funny how you can write something in the morning in 10 minutes, but the same thought will sometimes take an hour to capture after a day at work.

  4. I agree with that Gary. Early in the morning when the house is quiet is the best time for me to write.

    Even just doing something else to take my mind of writing – unload and reload the dishwasher, water the plants works wonders. Those good old more-or-less mindless chores.

  5. Yep, #4 for me. That’s were I am at the moment. I’ve taken a break and cleaned my brain – but now there’s nothing in it!! Sorry – I’m no help at all, am I?

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