Finger Exercises

Sometimes, there’s just nothing to say.

You’re ready to write. You’ve made a cup of coffee. You’ve performed every ritual you perform before writing. You open a new document, put your hands on the keyboard, and…nothing. You don’t have anything to say. Not one damn thing.

It’s not your fault. You’re not any less of a writer because you’re stymied at a particular moment. Yes, there are a nearly infinite number of ideas in a universe so vast it cannot be comprehended. And, yes, there will be times when you can’t think of a single one of them.

Lately, I’ve been using first-line generators a lot. I like this one in particular. Don’t think of it as cheating. Think of it as finger exercises like a pianist uses to keep in practice. I’ve gotten some submission-worthy stories out of first-line generators. I’ve also gotten a lot of crap. The point here is, though, that I’ve written something as opposed to having written nothing.

Every word you write makes you a better writer. It doesn’t matter if you’re inspired or if you outsource your inspiration to an algorithm somewhere in cyberspace.

And that’s my stupid writing advice.

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