By Lydia Morrell
Between writing classes, my job, and creative writing, sometimes it feels like I never set down the pen. So, one of my worst enemies is writer’s block. Deadline coming up? Writer’s block. I’ll sit at my laptop staring at an empty Google doc until my eyes bleed. Since I’m definitely not the only writer who struggles with this, I’m sharing a few of my tips for when you’re starting an essay at 11:40 p.m. fueled by Red Bull and a fear of failure.
1. Just write something!: Usually when I have writer’s block, it’s often because I don’t know how to start, or I’m worried I will not be able to write the story as well as I have constructed it in my head. Here’s the thing though: you can’t fail a story you haven’t written. You can’t edit a blank page. First write words on the page, then concern yourself with how to arrange them.
2. Work in three minute intervals: I set three minute intervals for myself to write, and then take a break. Three minutes is hardly enough to write two sentences, but once you start to write, you’ll often go over the minute limit and get into a groove.
3. Music is everything: What is life without a soundtrack to back you up? For me, I like listening to wordless music like classical or jazz so I’m not distracted. A tip for classical music fans: the Bridgerton soundtrack on Spotify is strangely good.
4. Keep your fridge stocked with Monster energy drinks: Personally, I hate energy drinks, but when you’re struggling to find motivation, they can be the kick you need to finally crack your laptop open. Coffee also works as a substitute.
5. Start your assignment on the day it is due: I promise, you are never quite as motivated to write something until you have a ticking clock in your head of 5 hours and 14 minutes before the Canvas box closes. You’ll be able to write something! I can’t promise you’ll have time to edit afterward though. (Disclaimer: I never said these tips were good.)