How To: Cure the Block

I have writer’s block today. I almost never have writer’s block. My ideas and thoughts usually flow naturally. For the most part, writing an article just comes second nature.

But, today is different for some reason. I’m going to diagnose my problem, treat it (by finishing this article) and, hopefully, sleep well tonight, knowing that I wrote something half decent.

The-10-Common-Types-of-Writers-Block-and-How-to-Overcome-Them-Quickly

Here goes:

A) Increase Blood Flow

When I wrote that first part of the post, it was early in the morning. Now, as I am writing this, I feel more at ease. Why?

I just finished an intense workout routine. I feel all the blood flowing through my body. Exercise is effective at getting your blood moving through your brain and getting those creative juices flowing.

Even something moderate. For me it was intense, but something as simple as a walk outside will clear your head for those creative juices.

B) Surround Yourself with Different Surroundings

Leave your mundane writing environment and start somewhere new. In most cases, I write my articles in my room, most of the time in my underwear (that’s an unwanted image).

Sometimes, I feel like I have no inspiration to write. Similar to the previous point, walking outside helps with that. Surrounding yourself with fresh air and new environments will produce new ideas.

C) Use Stimulants

I’m not a fan of drugs, as most of you know. By stimulants, I mean something that perks you up. For me, I use tea.

Daily teas are part of my routine because it gives me a little peak of energy. Similarly, you can use coffee as a substitute.

I can’t do coffee anymore. I had a serious addiction and decided to quit cold turkey. Now, the smell of coffee makes me gag. In my opinion, tea is just as effective without the after-jitters.

D) Read

I think reading can solve most of your problems. For example, after reading this article, you will overcome your writer’s block. If I’m stuck, I will read one chapter from three different books.

I read one chapter from a self-help book, one from the fiction category and one from any science category (most of the time, it’s psychology).

Reading three different chapters from three topics allows my brain to have idea sex. I mix all three different thoughts together. You can always combine ideas from different topics.

This fresh perspective will give you something to write about.

E) Make an Outline

If you have different topics already in mind, write a rough sketch of it. Figure out your main topics and make points. Make these points as simple as possible.

Your goal here is to write as many points as possible. Don’t worry about good and bad points or expanding on anything. Write enough to jog your memory later. Once you’ve compiled a list, go back and revise.

Cut out all the fat.

F) Just Start

Stop thinking about the writer’s block and just start with something. It can be nonsensical garbage, but just start writing.

“Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop” – Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland)

Sometimes all your brain needs is to put down some words. The more you get down, the easier it will be to continue.

G) Write Daily

Writer’s block doesn’t affect me as much as it first used to. I think the main reason is because I write everyday, even at a minimal capacity.

In the barest of bones, writing is a skill. Like any skill, the only way to improve is through dedicated practice (more on skills here). Dedicated practice hones my ability to write.

I looked at my first post (check it out here) and it pales in comparison to my recent works. I am improving, albeit slightly. These slight improvements continue to stack until writer’s block is basically nonexistent.

There you have it. I have completed my article. I feel like I can sleep well tonight. I think I’ve written a winner here.

Remember, don’t force anything. If you have insomnia, you can’t force yourself to sleep. If you are truly stuck, I implore you to try out the previous techniques. They have helped me in the past and even through this current block.

How do you overcome the dreaded block? Did any of these tips help you? Please comment below. My readers and I value your input. Thank you in advance.

Be bold, be free, and love on.

Endless Progression

Today was the first day at school. I was sitting in the lecture hall and I was looking at my older articles for inspiration to write about. I just couldn’t think of a topic.

Clearly, I was not paying attention to the lecture. I do not enjoy school, but that’s neither here nor there.

Earlier in my writing ‘career,’ I wrote an article untitled “The Summer Bucket List.” This article outlined everything I wanted to achieve by the end of the summer.

In it I mentioned skydiving, lavish trips to Vegas and NYC, and the ‘Go’ Game, among many other things.

As I was looking at this list, I realized that I hadn’t achieved any of it. I was a total failure. I set a bunch of goals and didn’t accomplish any of them. It was disheartening.

But, I had done other things. And while they weren’t listed goals, they were important. They helped me grow in more ways than one. I am a different person because of them.

For example, I started a business with my mother selling Indian sauces. That was a huge accomplishment. I started learning Spanish. That was a huge accomplishment. I became more focused, serious (in terms of life), and confident. That was a huge accomplishment.

Some things can be overlooked

Goals are just goals. Yes, it is incredibly important to have concise goals. But some things can be overlooked. Sure, I didn’t skydive. But really, if I did, would it have changed me?

Sure I didn’t go to NYC and Vegas. But, if I did, would I have made me any different? I feel like I would have had a lot of fun, been in the hole a few thousand dollars, and continued the same path that I was on.

I wasn’t able to finish the summer bucket list. That’s okay. I am still progressing, still changing, and still improving.

Two Sides to Every Coin

Life is interesting. There are literally two (or more) ways to deal with every situation. There is never one route to consider. I love that about life.

I could have looked at my incomplete list and been completely shattered. I could have wallowed in my own failures and stayed sedentary. There is no progress in wallowing. There is only self-loathing and self-pity.

That route leads to nowhere. You continue to dwell in the past mistakes and failures and hinders your ability to move forward, to look at the other routes.

For me, I’ve realized that there are two options: an optimistic and a pessimistic option. I opt for the optimistic approach. I just feel overall better when doing so.

Inadvertently, I realized an incredible lesson today. Goals are incredibly important. It can be the difference in achieving and not achieving something. They are necessary to progressing, developing, and growing.

As long as you are progressing in one-way or another, you’re doing great. Sedentary behavior produces a sedentary self. Always look for a new way to progress, a new way to improve.

But equally as important in progressing, is the recognition of self. Next time you set a goal for yourself and don’t complete it, do not wallow.

Use it as a stepping-stone to complete at a later date. Lastly, recognize that it is not the end of the world. You are still you. You are still amazing. You are still beautiful. And you are still progressing.

Be bold, be free, and love on.

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Keep Pushing On

Hola, cóma estás hermoso, or is it hermana? I hope I’m right. One of those mean sister and the other means beautiful. I get the two confused. I mean to say beautiful.

This post is late. Well, I mean clearly, you’ve already figured it out. I’ve been busy. Ugh, I hate making excuses. It is my own fault. I have been slacking, mistreating my body and this was the result.

I’ve been doing too many things. One of which, is trying to learn a new language, as you saw above. I’ve tried multiple times and failed, as you MAY have seen above.

I was forced to take French all through elementary school. Want to know the only thing I remember?

“Il fait du soleil” 

It’s sunny outside. I find it perplexing that that is the only thing I got out of six years of French. It hasn’t provided me with any assistance through my life. Well, maybe if a person would ask me the weather AND needed to know it in French AND it was actually sunny outside (I am a terrible liar. I blink too much).

Then I tried to learn Mandarin. In my opinion, it is THE hardest to learn, second only to English. I figured if I am going to learn any language, why not pick the hardest one. I skipped everything else and went to the top shelf. Mandarin is hard because it’s all tonal and depending on what part of the word you emphasize, determines its meaning. It was challenging to say the least.

I sat there for countless hours in front of Rosetta Stone trying to figure out the word and picture combination. I suck. I quit. I got down on myself.Do not give up

I tried other languages and programs and failed miserably. I thought maybe learning a second language wasn’t in the stars for me. Am I destined to speak only one?

Recently, I discovered I had a neighbor. Well, I mean, everyone has neighbors. Let me rephrase. Recently, I discovered I have an attractive neighbor. I had no idea she ever existed. I met her once, but I don’t remember. Maybe I was too intimidated when I first met her and my brain decided to hermit away.

“Where are you going with this Leroy?”

Don’t worry. I’m getting to the point, albeit slowly.

She has a good heart. She’s cool and she makes me laugh (and not that type of lame chuckle, but a hardy stomach laugh). And she’s really nice on the eyes (by that I mean, like very very attractive). Also, she’s Uruguayan.

See, I am slowly getting to the point. She’s teaching me Spanish. It’s difficult but not to the point where I am willing to quit. She says I’m good at rolling my “Rs.” Literally EVERY ‘r’ is rolled in Spanish. My name in Spanish is really Lerrrrrrrrroy.

-Pause for laughter-

Anyways, point being, persistence is key. Everything takes time and perseverance. I’ve always been told that good things come to those who wait. That is a lesson in patience but can also be used as a rationale for learning.

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Don’t Be Afraid of Failure 

When you try to learn something new, it can be daunting. New things are hard. I used to be a terrible failer. I used to fail and give up. Feel depressed about it and move on.

When I first started to learn golf, I could not hit the ball off the tee. I struggled, I swung, I whipped and got frustrated. Then after a lot of badgering I went golfing again. I hit it. It was a great feeling.

Success is a rush. It sent a shock of endorphins through my body. I love golf now. I’m not winning the PGA anytime soon, but that’s okay. I still enjoy it. Don’t you want to experience that same rush?

Persevere, Persevere, Persevere  

You need to continue. Fail, it’s good for your soul. You need it. Don’t get down on yourself. Everything can be learned and perfected. It’s one of the reasons that we are out of the food chain.

Through perseverance we have literally escaped the food chain. If humans gave up so easily, it would be a completely different story. There aren’t cheetahs waiting for us at the train station.

We have an amazing ability to learn anything we put our mind towards. But often we give up after the first failed attempt. I am guilty of this.

You need to wait and listen and learn. You can’t get down on yourself. Some things have a steeper learning curve, some not so much, and some things just come naturally. Don’t be afraid. Embrace it.

I feel like this time will be different. I will learn Spanish, partly because a piece inside me screams ‘NEED’ and partly because my neighbor is captivating.