Picture the scene. You've sat down to start writing and the cursor pulsates on the empty Word document or a pen sits unused on your notepad. Your mind freezes and you can't think of a single thing to write; not even the title. You've fallen prey to Blank Page Syndrome.
So, what can you do to avoid this dream-destroying affliction?
1. Avoid distractions. Make sure you've completed or delegated your household chores, the family knows not to disturb you, your mobile is turned off, and that you have a flask of coffee and a plate of biscuits at your side. If you haven't, these distractions will occupy your thoughts and demand your attention.
2. Never start writing without a specific goal in mind. This goal can take any form, from a piece of flash fiction to another chapter of your WIP. The important part is to already have an idea of what you're going to write. If you really can't think of one, pick up the dictionary, choose three words at random, and start writing.
3. Always finish a writing session with the current scene or chapter not completed - this will give you an incentive to get back to it and there will be no blank page waiting for you.
4. Take a break and revitalise your creative juices. Spending hours alone at the keyboard can be draining. So, meet friends for coffee. Take time out with your family. Visit the beach. Walk in the countryside. Go to the cinema. You will be amazed at how creatively charged you'll feel when you return to your WIP.
and the most important tip:
5. Never give in to Blank Page Syndrome. Even if you only write 100 words or an entry in your diary, you have written something, and something is better than nothing. If you are serious about your craft you will not let the blank page beat you. Think of yourself as a marathon runner in training - you need to push through the pain barrier to achieve results.
How do you beat blank pages?