Fun things to do when completely stymied:

1.) Clean the bathroom, the inbox, and the litter box. Read articles about cleaning bathroom, inbox and litter box.

Try not to think about the gender stereotypes.

2.) Read previous papers in hopes that they will inspire you. Or that you can plagiarize yourself.

3.) Catch up on your blog-reading. Find out what is going on in the world. Create a complicated set of Google alerts so you’ll never be uninformed again.

4.) Stalk people on Facebook. Comment on strangers’ photos. Hide friends who annoy you.

5.) Pick out the five books on Amazon you’d buy if you were rich and had time to read.

Extra credit if they have something to do with what you're trying to write.

6.) Google yourself. Try to figure out if you are related to the other people with your name. Allow the fact that someone else has your name to completely weird you out.

Like you. Only not you.

7.) Manicure, pedicure, herbal masks. Don’t start cutting your own hair. Trust me. It doesn’t help.

Always make faces in the mirror.

8.) Race the dog around the house. Let her win. Put socks on the dog and race again. Watch her slide.

"Flying Puppy" is always fun, too.

9.) Pick out your soap opera wardrobes: the huge hat you’ll wear to your fifth husband’s funeral, the spangled jacket in which you’ll confront the conniving bitch, the evening dress in which you’ll be abducted.

Extra points if it has a veil.

10.) Lie on the couch with a wrist dramatically draped over your forehead; tell all of your troubles to the cat.

Dress up first.

11.) Let yourself believe that your creativity has peaked, that you’ll never write again and you’ll die a failure. Then take a deep breath, realize how foolish that is and get back to work.

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