Helping Creative People Create

I’ve Got Nothing To Say

sistine chapel
Photo by ideacreamanuelaPps

I’m going to level with you: I’ve got nothing to write today. Not a single thing.

So why are you still reading? You’re probably thinking that I’m going to turn this into a lesson of some sort, but that’s just the thing: I can’t. Because I can’t think of a single thing to write, and I’ve been staring at my monitor for the last 37 minutes.

You see, creating is going to be harder some days than others. The faucet just won’t turn on, nothing will click. There will be days where the best thing you can do is sit down and stare ahead blankly without inspiration.

But the important thing is that you do it anyway, and that’s where most of us give up. There’s something powerful about going head-to-head with Lack of Motivation and seeing who’s more stubborn. Anyone who is a “professional creative” (writer, artist, etc.) that creates every day will tell you the same thing: you just have to do it.

How many days did Michelangelo show up not wanting to paint during the four years it took him to finish the Sistine Chapel? Or how many of the 2, 632 consecutive baseball games did Cal Ripken Jr. not want to play?

It’s making the commitment, sitting down, and staring at the screen. Or holding the brush. Or picking up the guitar. The act of making the effort, even when there’s nothing behind it, allows things to happen anyway.

And eventually something will happen.

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  • This made me laugh, because it reminded me of how funny I thought it was when I learned as an English major that poets (well-known ones, too and all throughout history) published poems about not having anything to write about and lacking any sort of inspiration. I thought it was a great technique–write about how you don't have anything to write about.

    • Thanks :) I actually laughed a lot writing it. Oh, the irony :)

  • This made me laugh, because it reminded me of how funny I thought it was when I learned as an English major that poets (well-known ones, too and all throughout history) published poems about not having anything to write about and lacking any sort of inspiration. I thought it was a great technique–write about how you don't have anything to write about.

  • Great post! As a writer, I also believe that a breath inward and reminding oneself that something – an idea, an inspiration is germinating… Writers are hunters, patient, alert. During my time in South America, I met a shaman who told me that the hunters gather with him before going out. They pray to the head of the animal family, saying that their families need to eat or they will die. That they will honor and give thanks if a member of that animal family would give themselves over. And they promise, similar to the Tibetans, that the life energy that’s ingested will continue in a new form for the good of all involved. My anthropologist friend, who participated in this pre – hunt ritual and accompanied them on the trail, told me that the animal they prayed for would pop out of the bushes – right in front of them – as if to say, ‘take me.’

  • Great post! As a writer, I also believe that a breath inward and reminding oneself that something – an idea, an inspiration is germinating… Writers are hunters, patient, alert. During my time in South America, I met a shaman who told me that the hunters gather with him before going out. They pray to the head of the animal family, saying that their families need to eat or they will die. That they will honor and give thanks if a member of that animal family would give themselves over. And they promise, similar to the Tibetans, that the life energy that’s ingested will continue in a new form for the good of all involved. My anthropologist friend, who participated in this pre – hunt ritual and accompanied them on the trail, told me that the animal they prayed for would pop out of the bushes – right in front of them – as if to say, ‘take me.’

  • People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing, that's why we recommend it daily. – Zig Ziglar

  • People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing, that's why we recommend it daily. – Zig Ziglar

  • Well, thanks for writing anyway! It's so true that you just have to get your nose down and do it. You never know what's going to pop up on the screen until you start typing.

    I write a personal development blog too and sometimes I think really I have nothing to teach people. But then I remember some small progress I have made in my life or do some research on something I need help with and before you know it there is something to share.

    Hehe, look forward to seeing what you come up with next time… No pressure though:)

  • Well, thanks for writing anyway! It's so true that you just have to get your nose down and do it. You never know what's going to pop up on the screen until you start typing.

    I write a personal development blog too and sometimes I think really I have nothing to teach people. But then I remember some small progress I have made in my life or do some research on something I need help with and before you know it there is something to share.

    Hehe, look forward to seeing what you come up with next time… No pressure though:)

  • baker19

    I really like this post. It's the process I go through on a creative level.

  • level with you: I’ve got nothing to write

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  • well said dude