How many times have you sat and stared at a blank page trying to think about something to write about and working in vain to come up with a new and exciting topic? While brainstorming can be a great method for overcoming this, it can still be difficult to get started with. Brainstorming after all, is exactly the same thing isn’t it? Brainstorming is nothing more than sitting there trying to make something out of nothing.
Rather than trying to think about something in particular, try sitting there thinking about nothing for a moment. Make sure your keyboard is handy or that you have a pen and paper because the results will surprise you. Take a sip of your coffee, bourbon, soda or other beverage of choice, put the cup down, pick up the pen, sit back and close your eyes.
Now, think about absolutely nothing. Nothing, by the very fact that it has a definition, is in and of itself an oxymoron of sorts. Still, most people find it very difficult, if not virtually impossible to actually think about nothing. It is much the same as if I tell you to sit there and not to think about Disney world. The overall effect is actually the same. By trying not to think about something, you will inevitably begin thinking about something.
For example, using a timely classic, you may try to picture an empty chalkboard. Okay, let’s say you do exactly that. What thoughts does it bring to your mind? Maybe it causes you to think about your days in school. What did you like about school? What did you hate about school? What fundamental changes happened while you were in school? What caused those changes to occur? What was the direct result of those changes? What were the indirect consequences of those changes? How did they affect the people around you?
Unless you are very focused and heavily involved in meditation, it will be almost impossible for you to actually concentrate on nothing. Even most of those people who are involved in meditation will focus on something while they are meditating. As you try to clear your mind, you may notice random thoughts flying past. Whether they seem to be aimed directly at you or avoiding you may depend on your personal circumstances but the thoughts will be there regardless.
What you do with those thoughts is going to be strictly up to you but try focusing on only one at first. If you think about it some, it should lead you to the next thought in line and so on until you have a complete list of thoughts in front of you. Look at the thoughts that you have considered important enough to write down. Look at them as a path to an end and see where each thought leads you.
Once you figure out where they go, you will see the destinations opening up before you. At this point, it will become possible to begin breaking them down even more and seeing which ones are relevant to your current subject matter. Pick the one that is a close match first and move on from there. Writer’s block may be an obstacle but it is not a barrier that cannot be overcome. Often times the best solution is not thinking about it at all.