I’ll often go for weeks at a time without having a hard time coming up with topics to write about for the blog or Benchmark Email newsletters. Once in a while, it’s a downright struggle. I’ll ask random people around the office for suggestions, bang my head against the desk until something good to write about falls out and do a lot of blank staring. It’s hardly productive, though sometimes necessary. For this week’s Benchmark 5, I’m here with the five things I do when I can’t think of anything to write about.

Take the Adaptation approach. It is impossible for me to explain this without you immediately realizing what I’m doing here in this blog. If you’ve ever seen Adaptation, you know that Charlie Kauffman wrote a movie about him trying to write a movie. Today, I’m writing a blog post about trying to write a blog post.

Comb Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. If you see that twelve different friends have posted the same video or meme, it’s probably safe to bet a whole bunch of people are talking about it. I’ve found it remarkably easy to tie some loose marketing lesson to just about anything, including the Jersey Shore. Those types of stories are always well read when timely.

Go to lunch. It could be the marketing in a restaurant that sparks something for me or a story I hear while listening to the radio. Sometimes all it takes is getting out of the office environment to get your brain back firing on the right cylinders.

Read. I read a ton in any given day anyways. A ton of marketing blogs, but also the news. I’ve written popular blogs on Kony and the Netflix/Qwikster fiasco after reading about the stories on CNN.com or similar sites.

Work on something else. You will frustrate yourself if you sit and try to squeeze something out of your brain with no results. If all of the above doesn’t work, don’t fret. Move onto your next activity. You never know when inspiration will strike. Perhaps something will click with the work you are doing. Or maybe you just needed to take your mind off it for a bit. It’s like when you’re trying to remember a name, but just can’t. It always creeps up once you stop thinking about it.