Writer’s Block

“Nothing. No ideas. Useless… empty… brain!” That quote from Big Hero 6 was how I felt yesterday. Once I returned to my dorm after my classes, I was trying to think of ideas I could use to write on my blog. It wasn’t that I didn’t have any ideas (I have quite a few, including most of the month of February mapped out). I just did not like any of the ideas that I had. I was even asking some people for ideas. I got a couple other good ideas that I might use for a later date. However, yesterday, they weren’t inspiring me to think of something to elaborate on.

The thing is, I like to have things planned out, including my blog. This is the first time I can remember since starting my blog that I have experienced true writer’s block. By Monday afternoon, I usually have a good idea of what I will write about for the week. Nevertheless, in experiencing lack of motivation and writer’s block, I knew yesterday that it would not be a good day for my normal creativity or writing.

So what did I do? Well, Monday morning, I created my weekly to-do list. I have an extension called Momentum on Google Chrome that, among other things, lets me have a to-do list when I open up a new tab (You can download it on the Google Chrome store). So instead of focusing on my blog issue, I instead turned my attention to my list. I have a short list this week, but I still managed to get 3 things on it done. I washed my dirty dishes. Then, I listened to more than watched a documentary for extra credit for my history class. While the documentary was playing, I colored (because I needed something else to do). I then wrote a reflection on the documentary and submitted it to my professor, and that was about the extent of my writing potential. I also finished something for a personal project I was working on. I knew what I was doing for that, but I had just not had the materials I needed.

However, when I was coloring yesterday, I realized I could write about writer’s block. Most of you do not see the process that goes into my weekly posts. I have a notepad on my phone where I can write down blog ideas when I think of them. Throughout the weekend and Mondays, I will decide which idea I want to write about. Once I decide on an idea, I spend the rest of the time before Tuesdays thinking about what points I want to get across. Then, on Tuesdays, after my classes (which this semester do not end until 3:15 and I still have to get lunch afterwards), once I find motivation, I pull up Pandora and get music going. Then I open my blog site and click the “write” button and just write whatever is in my head. It’s definitely a time commitment and ideas do not just come to me. If I am not sure what to say, I will just tap my fingers on the keyboard until I think of something.

I tell you my whole writing process to come to my point: writer’s block happens to everyone and is totally normal. Do not feel bad if you are not sure what to write or do. Find something you can get done instead. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Clean something
  • Turn on some music and dance or sing
  • Color (keep a coloring book on hand)
  • Take a walk
  • Play a game
  • Watch a movie or TV show
  • Paint or do some other kind of art
  • Get some food
  • Talk to someone you trust
  • Organize something

I am not trying to tell you to procrastinate. I procrastinate too much on my own as it is and it is something I am genuinely trying to fix (the weekly to-do lists help). However, if you have no motivation or energy or creativity to continue what you currently are doing, do something else that you need to get done. If your current project still eludes you, do something else. You might find that you cross a thing (or three) off your list of what you need/want to do, which will give you time later to do more of the things you enjoy rather than the things you find tedious.

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