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We’ve all had those times when there’s a rush to meet a deadline, and you still haven’t written the first page, much less the first sentence. Maybe you just don’t know how to begin the paper, or perhaps none of the ideas you’ve come up with sound “unique” enough to catch anyone’s interest. As a chronic sufferer of this debilitating disease, I’ve discovered several tricks to help pull you, me, and everyone else out of this funk and onto writing full manuscripts with your imagination intact.

1. Sleep

It’s quite underrated, but getting 8-9 hours of sleep a night would be extremely helpful, not only to your memory but also to your imagination. If 8-9 hours is not enough, sleep a little bit more. Go to bed earlier. Treat yourself right, and everything else will follow. Don’t underestimate the power of sleep.

2. Go for a nature walk

Sometimes getting a little bit of fresh air can help stimulate the senses and give you some idea’s on what to write next. Like to write poetry? Nature as a theme in poetry is quite common, but even so, it can still help. Even if the first poem you write is utter garbage, the more you write, the better it gets. It’s like when you first squeeze that little bit out of a toothpaste container; it may be slightly dry and crusty, but if you squeeze just a little more, the good stuff comes out.

3. Listen to music and write to it

Writing while listening to music is one of my favorite pastimes, though for some it may be distracting. If it doesn’t bother you, I suggest trying it out. It doesn’t have to be smooth as butter, but it can be a good launching pad. You can theme your writing piece to the song itself, or write about how it makes you feel. Either way, you’re writing and that’s the whole point. Another thing that may be helpful to try is to re-write the song in your own words. Retain the same instrumental, and just write as if you were the songwriter, and it was your song. You’d be surprised at what you can come up with, and you may even write a top hit.

4. Take a shower

You know, the good ole shower thoughts. Taking showers has given me plenty of good ideas on several occasions. It might have something to do with the way our bodies perceive the warmth (or cold) of the shower, and that translates into our writing. I’d wager that some of the best ideas I’ve had have come from taking a shower when I’m burnt out. It’s like a whole-body refresh.

5. Do nothing

Staring at a wall and doing nothing sounds pretty boring to most people, but don’t you guys do it anyway? Well, staring at a wall isn’t really doing anything, but never mind that. You know what, scratch that, you can use the wall as a canvas. Put up some posters, or themed pics like photos of things you like. That boy band you like? Put it up there. Or how about that really cute calendar you got the other day? Take the pictures out and collage them on the wall. Do whatever, and you know, stare at it.

6. Pinterest

Create a collage on Pinterest. Make a mood board. Find pictures of that anime guy that you like or aesthetic pictures. Find pictures that go together and have a central theme. Truth be told, having a visual cue to look at can be very helpful when you have absolutely no idea what to write about. That and you can do it anywhere, at any time. It’s like scrolling through social media. Except it’s not.

In the end, all these tips are to help you write. Which is a whole lot more than you were probably doing in the first place. Though I can’t guarantee that this will help everyone get out of that funk, I do know that what works for me may help other people as well.

A current junior at NMSU, Rukiiyah is an introvert who loves to spend her days at home with a cup of green tea,her pet rabbit Ruxia, and a novel of her choice. You can follow her on Instagram @ _ruki.ruki22_
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