Sep 24, 2013

25 Productive Alternatives When You Just Can’t Write

Have your imaginary friends stopped talking to you? Is your muse on vacation?

I don’t have writers block. I'm in a writes lull. My main manuscript is on submission. I was working on book two in the series, but if book one doesn’t sell, I might backburner it and focus on a new project. I don’t want to get the new project going just yet, though, until there is some resolution on book 1. No since changing gears if I won’t need to. Besides, starting a new project would be an emotional commitment that I’m not ready for yet.

But I don’t want to be a slug. So if you are like, in a lull, unable to work on a manuscript, here are 25 other things (with resource links) that we can be doing to spend the time productively.

1.       Support fellow authors with shout outs on twitter and facebook
2.       Walk – All the cool writers do it
3.       Pre-write a month’s worth of blog posts around a particular theme
4.       Find and post helpful advice on a writer’s forum –,,
5.       Find, read and review a book from a first time published or Indie author. Nora Roberts does not need your review J
6.       Put critique karma in the bank by being a beta reader or critique partner. I use Ladies Who Critique and Scribophile
7.       Hang out on the internet somewhere you wouldn’t normally – arts, science and food, oh my
9.       Learn one new grammar tip a day. I like Grammar Girl and Daily Grammar
10.   If you aren’t already on it, join and dive in to Goodreads. If you are, up your gaming by participating more
11.   Set up your Google+ profile and presence, (the second largest social community on the web) including linking your author presence so that your picture and bio show in google search
12.   Sketch or draw – It makes you see better
13.   Guest blog – everyone is always looking for a way to mix up their online content and it’s a great marketing tool
14.   Host a contest – big or small work but engenders lots of goodwill
15.   Join a genre fan group – be a fan before you need fans
16.   Go somewhere new – bar, restaurant, concert at the local school. Or try communing with nature scientifically proven to up your creativity
17.   Ride the bus or train – and be amazed at the creativity it inspires
18.   Go somewhere old and act differently – observe how people respond
19.   Take a class – most community colleges and local universities offer cheap, fun classes through their extension programs. Also, check out free online classes
20.   Attend your local government meeting – want to see conflict in action? Go to a town meeting.
23.   Take pictures and tell a picture story
24.   Join a meetup on something you have passion for
25.   Discover your romance name – or other silly things that can inspire you to think differently

 What do you do when you can't write? Share your tips in the comments.

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