DEAR HARRIETTE: I’m a journalist who commonly gets writer's block. I’ve been writing fewer articles recently because I just don't have anything to write about anymore. I'm starting to dread writing. What would you suggest I do when I'm not feeling inspired to write? -- Writer’s Block
DEAR WRITER’S BLOCK: Remember that writing is your job and therefore your responsibility. Approach it with the same respect that you would offer to any other job: You have to show up on time with enthusiasm and do the work -- even when you don’t feel like it.
As far as the mechanics of writing, I recommend creating a discipline that you follow each day. Choose a time when you sit down and write, and stick to it. Literally sit in front of your computer and start typing. Pick a topic. If you have an assignment, choose that. If you can pick anything you want, choose something simple, like recounting your day or even writing about the writer’s block that seems to be crippling you. Create writing exercises that push you to think and take action. Make them fun -- or at least interesting. For example, write a whole essay about what you ate for breakfast. Break down the elements of your meal, who prepared it, how long it took, where the ingredients came from, what dish and flatware you used, how many calories it contained, how it tasted, whether you would eat it again, whether you eat it every day, etc. Go all in as you write about your meal, your most recent telephone conversation, the worst argument you ever had, the effect COVID-19 has had on your life and other timely or obscure topics. That should help spark your creativity.