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Embrace the Blank Page: 5 Techniques of Daily Writing When You Don’t Know What to Write



n the realm of creativity, the blank page can be both an alluring canvas and a daunting void. As writers, we’ve all experienced the moments when inspiration seems elusive, and the words refuse to flow effortlessly. It’s during these challenging times that the commitment to daily writing becomes more crucial than ever.

I know this struggle all too well. My own writing journey began in April 2021, and since then, I’ve embarked on a whirlwind adventure, penning three books in less than two years. The key to this feat? My unwavering habit of daily writing. Since April 14, 2021, I have made it a point to write something, anything, every day.

Why Write Daily?

Embracing the discipline of daily writing is akin to nurturing a garden; it requires consistent care, patience, and dedication. Each word we put down becomes a seed, and with time, these seeds sprout into flourishing ideas, captivating narratives, insightful articles, and beautifully woven stories. The more we cultivate this habit, the more our writing blossoms into something magical.

Whether you are a seasoned writer seeking to rekindle your muse or a novice taking your first steps on this literary journey, writing daily is the fuel that will fire your author ambitions.

How to Write Daily?

One vital aspect of establishing the daily writing habit is designating a fixed writing place and time.

For me, this sacred time begins at 5 am each day. My schedule is incredibly demanding as a life coach, executive coach, wife, and mother, leaving me with limited writing window during a regular day. However, between the early hours of 5 am and 6:30 am, when the world dozes, my mind is at its sharpest. This serene morning window has become my writing retreat, where I can craft my words without distractions.

Smita’s writing corner

It’s essential to honor your writing space as a sanctuary where your ideas can flow freely. Create a dedicated corner in your home, be it a cozy nook, a sunlit spot by the window, or a desk filled with your favorite writing tools.

This physical space will serve as a powerful trigger for your mind to transition into writing mode. Over time, this space will become infused with your creativity, and the moment you sit there, your thoughts will naturally align with the written word.

Another crucial aspect of daily writing is freeing yourself from the shackles of word count pressure. Instead of fixating on hitting a specific number of words each day, focus on the quality and depth of your writing. Some days, you may produce pages filled with prose, while others may yield only a few lines of profound wisdom. Embrace this ebb and flow of creativity, for the seeds of brilliance often take root in these seemingly sparse moments.

Establishing a fixed writing place and time has enabled me to unlock the door to my creativity consistently. Besides three books, I have co-authored six anthologies and penned over a hundred short stories, some of which have won awards around the globe. I credit my daily writing routine for these results.

What to Write Daily?

Some days, despite the best of our intent, the blank page proves to be a formidable adversary, and we need inspiration for tapping our fingers on the keyboard.

This happens to me, too. I apply one of my five daily writing techniques on such days to keep up with the habit and move forward.

Embrace one or all of these five techniques of daily writing to transform the blank page from a nemesis to an inviting canvas to paint your thoughts, emotions, and dreams:

1. Let Your Characters Talk: Unleash the Power of Imagination.

Storytelling is primarily about the protagonist(s); their journey is the heart of the narrative.

When I embark on my daily writing, I often begin by focusing on the character, drawing inspiration from real-life individuals I’ve encountered or read about in the media. As their personas take shape in my mind, I delve deep into their thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and surroundings. I ponder over the people that influence them, the challenges they face, and the strengths that define them.

Once the character’s image is crystal clear in my imagination, I allow their voice to guide my writing. The protagonists and other characters evolve organically as the words flow onto the page. Sometimes, they unfold in expected ways, their actions and thoughts aligning with my initial vision. Other times, they take on their own life, surprising me with unexpected twists and turns, much appreciated by my readers. My story, ‘Graduation Day’ is a product of this technique.

The next time you find yourself at a loss for words, think of a stranger you noticed in a place you frequent and start describing their appearance in your writing page. You may also use some of the words the person used as dialogues. Let this character meet another person from your life (or a public figure) in your story. Let your characters speak and guide you on a captivating journey of imagination, and witness your stories come to life in ways that will leave your readers spellbound.

Looking out the window

2. Look Out of the Window: Embrace the World Beyond.

Nature’s canvas lies right outside our windows, offering a myriad of stories waiting to be told.

As I look outside my window or step onto my balcony, the world reveals itself in delightful nuances. The weather sets the stage—is it a sunny day kissed by gentle warmth, or is the rain orchestrating a soothing symphony? Perhaps the wind carries secrets through the air, or the atmosphere paints a somber backdrop. I observe the streets below—are they bustling with life or wrapped in a tranquil hush?

The view from my window becomes the opus on which my stories are painted, laying the foundation for the setting and background. I return to my desk, taking in these vivid details and meticulously capturing these unrelated scenic descriptions of life unfolding beyond the window in a dedicated writing diary on my laptop. These seemingly disconnected musings become invaluable reservoirs of inspiration, ready to be drawn upon when the time is right.

While some writers prefer a linear approach, I embrace the freedom to work on multiple pieces at once, allowing the scenes I observe to blend with my imagination.

I distinctly remember jotting down the scenic beauty I noticed from my balcony in my humourous story ‘Where There’s A Will’ months later. Not stopping there, I reimagined and refurbished the same scene in a melancholous tale a year down the line! The latter story now finds a place in my short story collection published in July 2023.

So, when you find yourself seeking inspiration the next time, take a moment to peer out of the window, for the world beyond awaits with tales untold, waiting for a wordsmith’s touch to bring them to life.

3. Weave a Story with Words Stuck in Your Mind: Leverage the Power of Others’ Words.

Sometimes, a single sentence can be the spark that ignites a captivating narrative.

It is remarkable how a lone sentence, entrenched in our minds for days, months, or even years, can metamorphose into a tapestry of imagination. The journey begins with that first sentence, and with each word that follows, a world takes shape—a world where stories have a life of their own, waiting to be discovered and shared.

When a sentence used by someone else reverberates in my mind, I seize the moment and pen it down on paper—verbatim, to the extent I can remember. Then I follow it up with my free-flowing sentences of my own. Like pieces of a puzzle, one sentence seamlessly connects with another, guiding me along the path of storytelling. As my fingers dance across the keyboard, the story materializes, driven by the silent whispers of those embedded words.

My story, ‘The Other Side’ is a product of this technique; the essence of the story was borne from a simple remark made by a colleague during coffee at work years ago. I have written many such stories where simple remarks from parents, friends, colleagues, and spouse years or days ago formed the essence of my narrative.

Take heed the next time a phrase or sentence echoes in your thoughts; it might be the inception of an extraordinary tale. Nurture those words, let them guide you, and watch as they unfurl into stories that transcend time and space.

Looking out the window

4. Think of (or Read About) a Situation: Unlock Your Creativity.

Every human experience holds the potential to be a wellspring of creativity; every occurrence from your past or wishlist for the future, anything that you have seen, heard or read is an invitation to explore new dimensions.

Whether it be a moment from the past, the unfolding of the present, the anticipation of an impending event, or even an entirely fictional future, these scenarios provide the backdrop for me to weave my words.

When inspiration strikes, I let my mind take flight and pen the words onto the page. The characters, their dialogues, and the plot emerge organically, fueled by the vivid images dancing in my mind. It is indeed a magical process.

Observation, too, plays a crucial role in this technique. A scene witnessed at a restaurant where a middle-aged couple were whispering to each other like teenagers sparked the genesis of one of my most loved stories ‘Rendezvous.’

The benefit of this approach is not limited to fiction. I have extended it to crafting insightful articles where I examine the consequences of events, expressing my opinions and thoughts on what matters to me.

When you find yourself captivated by a moment or lost in a book, take a moment to reflect, for within lies the genesis of a story waiting to be brought to life.

5 Prompt-Based Websites to Spark Your Creativity

  1. Penmancy: The Writing Community holds contests in Drabbles, Quintales, Short Stories and Poetry from 1st-31st of every month.
  2. Writer’s Digest: A resource library site for writers that provides a fun creative writing prompt daily for inspiration.
  3. Daily Page: Emails a creative writing prompt every day to registrants for building a daily writing routine.
  4. The Time is Now: Poets & Writers offers three weekly writing prompts each in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction to help writers stay committed to their writing practice.
  5. Off Topic Writing Contests: Holds a prompt-based contest for the first ten days every month, rotating genres of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction each month.

5. Embrace Writing Prompts: Let Others Guide You.

When the muse eludes you, and the unyielding blank page stares at you, there’s a reliable ally that will never fail to ignite your spark—writing prompts.

With a curated list of writing prompt apps and websites at my fingertips, I simply choose the one that beckons me the day I feel stuck and dive headfirst into the uncharted territory of my imagination. The very first short story I penned, ‘If I Remembered,’ was based on a prompt from a website. To date, it remains one of my most-read stories on the StoryMirror platform.

In this realm of endless possibilities, the prompts become the catalyst for my stories, leading me down unexplored avenues and unveiling characters and plots I could never have fathomed. I’ve also ventured into short story contests and competitions, where prompts were the creative compass to guide my narratives toward uncharted territories.

Writing prompts are gifts that keep on giving, continuously reigniting the flames of creativity. So, the next time your writing endeavors seek a guiding light, seek a writing prompt to transport you to unimagined places and untold tales.

Keep Up with Daily Writing

To reiterate, the discipline of daily writing is the key to unlocking the power of creativity.

Now that you are armed with a repertoire of daily writing techniques, the excuses for blank pages fade away, leaving only boundless opportunities for storytelling. Whether it’s letting characters speak, gazing out of the window for inspiration, or unraveling the threads of a writing prompt, every technique is your canvas to paint upon.

Don’t seek words to write but focus on facts and thoughts; the words will come to you unsought. Keep that pen moving; each stroke shall pave the way to a world of infinite narratives waiting to be explored.

As you embark on this journey, remember the beauty of daily writing is not only in the words you pen but in the growth and fulfillment that blossom from the habit.

So, fellow writers, let this be the call to arms. Embrace the power of daily writing, for within its embrace lies the path to honing your craft, unraveling your voice, and unleashing the storyteller within.



Smita Das Jain

Smita Das Jain is a writer by passion and writes out of her home in Gurugram, India, every day. An author of an award-winning short story collection and a novel, Smita’s short stories have found prominence in Auroras and Blossoms, Twist and Twain, WriteFluence and several other anthologies across the globe. Her story, ‘The Figure in the Charpoy’ placed in the Top 20 Flash Fiction winners list in the Spring 2022 contest of Women On Writing (WOW!) magazine. Smita’s third fiction, Twisted Tales and Turns, is available worldwide on Amazon. A TEDx speaker and coach, Smita regularly pens her musings and shares the news of her upcoming work on her writing website.


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