Having successfully transitioned from #SAGrad to #SAPro I reflect on my first few months: moving to a new city, check. Gaining a new skill set, super check. Trying not to start too many fires and effectively putting out as many ahead of time as possible, ongoing. I would say I’ve done alright. Yet, I still find myself seeking to make my time in the #SAPro realm even more meaningful.
Which brings me to writing this piece for the Student Affairs Collective. Upon being accepted to contribute to this blog, I thought the words would pour out of me. I’d have a written masterpiece produced everyday. Well 20+ days later…I was so wrong. Staring at a computer screen for hours, hilariously wrong. So now, after hours of soul searching for my “masterpiece” I finally have decided to write tips for overcoming writer’s block for my fellow #SAPro writers. Struggling writers, I hear you…
Step One: Find a blog, journal, twitter feed, what have you, and volunteer.
You are ahead of the game just thinking about writing. Revolutionary writers and self-publishers all had to start somewhere, and they began with a desire to write. For you Harry Potter fans out there, J.K. Rowling didn’t start her success with a flick of a wand. By volunteering, you surround yourself with a wealth of resources and individuals who want to see you succeed in your writing endeavors.
Step Two: Do not, I repeat, do not sit down and stare into your computer screen waiting for greatness to happen (like myself).
Simply willing the words to flow out of you with precision and elegance isn’t always enough. Instead, be where your feet are. Take a moment to be present, figuratively and physically. Take a familiar stroll, cook something delicious, relax yourself and simply be exactly where you are.
Step Three: Once you reach a point of relaxation, eliminate your distractions.
I think this is a good time to highlight that what you define as a distraction might not be the same as others. For me personally, background noise focuses me. I enjoy hearing music and the sounds of the city outside of my window. For others absolute quiet and dim lighting is the trick. Do what suits you and hold yourself accountable to it.
Step Four: Pick a topic, any topic and play!
Flip through your favorite magazine and write about the page you open to. Check the top news stories and write your first thoughts. Grapple with your writer’s block and write about that. The key here is to simply find joy in the art of writing and not to take yourself too seriously!
Step Five: Rotate and repeat!
Continue this process of searching for purpose, finding peace and being present, and having fun with writing repeatedly until you find your groove. Mix up the steps too! Rotate relaxing and play just to keep you on your own toes.
Writing can be a therapeutic service, just as much as it can be for the person reading. Writer’s block is just plain annoying, but it should not own you.
> BONUS <
Podcast With Paul Gordon Brown on Blogging in Student Affairs