Stuck at your writing desk, blankly holding a pen in your hand with nothing, but the date written on the page in front of you. Sounds like a familiar situation. Brain-blanking, my old friend, welcome back.
I have been working on my own creative writing, especially ones that require a lot of research, planning, and consistent execution (a skill I'm struggling to build). Therefore, I find myself regularly in this position to the point that if whoever I'm living with walks into my room, they no longer feel the need to exorcise me when they catch me unconsciously staring at my now-black computer screen.
There are ways to combat this, most of it by just getting up off your, now essentially, memory foam-like desk chair and leaving out into the world.
1. Large Coffee Shop.Giphy
For me, it's Starbucks at any time of the day, specifically the one that has all these chairs in the middle area. Outlets are scarce, and all of them converge in that central area with the strangely inclined armchairs only accessible to those that sit in the center of the room. Everyone is forced to sit closely and co-exist in denial of each other's proximity.
I say a large coffee shop because of the mix of that inward-outward flow of people that are there just to buy something and immediately get out with the chair-sitters. Then again, it could be horrible if you have an actual need for a laptop for an extended period of time, but I get most of my physical pen-and-paper writing ideas when I people watch in the busier coffee shops.
2. University Library.Giphy
The sheer number of college library-related memes prove how crazy minds can become, especially getting close to finals week. Actually, forget the memes. If you're a college student that's ever experienced any form of finals week, you know how erratic people start acting.
As someone who became very comfortable with quietly whispering to myself while studying, I quickly recognized that I could come up with some pretty funny stories if I just observed the people around me.
3. Restaurant Patio.Giphy
The patio of a restaurant or bar is a great place to get some ideas for a creative project that you're working on. If that patio is, especially, on a busy street like in downtown or a popular walking area, then you're bound to catch snippets of interesting conversation to use.
4. Public Transportation.Giphy
This defies all laws of public transport travel, but it could help to look up and around time to time. Although going around in circles on your city's metro bus or subway may be slightly impractical, just paying some extra attention when you're traveling with other people could easily spark ideas. This also works for an office shuttle or an UberPool especially one with a more than chatty co-occupant.
5. Bakery or Bagel Shop.Giphy
This may sound similar to the coffee shop idea, but in reality, it's very different. Bakeries and bagel shops open excruciatingly early in the morning and it's the time where you can see the most interesting of individuals. They may be on the way to work, or just grabbing breakfast for their families.
Also, the warm and delicious smelling bakery air can do wonders for the brain.
6. Mall food court.Giphy
Like the restaurant patio, the mall food court works as a comfortable venue from which to casually people watch. Whereas restaurants and downtowns provide more passing comments and pieces of conversation, mall food courts feature long-term chair-sitters and also confused, hungry wanderers. As far as I've ever noticed and learned from Teen Nick, most of the juiciest mall drama converge in the food court.
7. Lecture halls.Giphy
If you're a writer, coming up with characters could be as straightforward as basing them off of those in the lecture hall around you, especially if you have already accepted that this class will require minimal note-taking (bless those professors that post the slides). Lecturers and those relentless opinion-givers in the front row are great subjects to build personalities off of. Just make sure that no one accidentally sees. Especially over your shoulder if you're not the furthest back row.
After days of living in your green tea, desk top humidifier cave dwelling it can be terrifying and intimidating to leave, but it's worth it. Take the time to step outside of your comfort zone and see what you can create.