Writer’s Block

Well, its reality has arrived. I struggle to find something to write about. I know there are a bevy of topics just waiting to be explored, yet I’d rather sit in a stupor looking at a blank page.

When I teach students, I will often direct them to pull out a piece of paper or today, open their laptop and just start writing anything at all, until something hits and you find yourself traveling down a road of story-telling. I give them the option to use the phrase, “I can’t think of anything” over and over until they get bored with it start to write anything that comes to mind. In twenty five years of using this method in the classroom, I have one student give me a page – before laptops – and front and back, like a penance in the old tradition of detention, he wrote the phrase from beginning to end. I looked at it when he put it on the pile because in his early musings, I suspected that might be the case, and then I chuckled. I looked at him, and we both had a laugh because I liked this guy, as I do of course the majority of my students otherwise I would be in the wrong profession. I said to him, do you know this probably took more effort than you would have simply free-wrote on any topic coming to mind. He looked at me with a smile, and agreed and said it was one of the most tedious exercises he had experienced in a writing project.

I can’t think of anything.

2 responses to “Writer’s Block

  1. Brave of you to share.

    Creative writing is a creative act, and the rational mind sure gets in the way of this primarily subconscious/emotion-driven state!

    I find giving myself permission to have a full page of poor quality writing helping get the juices flowing. No worry of if it is good or not, just fill a page with thoughts, even if unrelated to the final topic.

    Just getting going helps a lot.

    I’ve explored some other ideas related to this, such as keeping a writing prompts journal to capture emotion-full words throughout the week when an idea of inspiration hits. Something you can revisit when you’re ready to write that promotes a similar state as when you had the idea (hence the emotion-provoking words).

    Best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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