Right, so it’s been a month, and I have about a fortnight left of this master to finish things up. I think it’s going fairly good, but I still can’t really go into details on what I’m finding. What I can give however is a few, hopefully, useful advice when encountering writers block! Hurray! For all sorts of writing!
1. Have a cup of tea. Literally, a cup of Earl Grey with milk in it has saved lives. Not literally, clearly. But tea can work wonders. If you find yourself about to give up- go and give up! (And make yourself a cuppa’) – then go back to your writing, bring your tea, and lo and behold- writers block be gone!
2. Clean your desk! I had one day when I though “this is it. No more words will ever come” and then I gathered all the papers on the desk into one semi neat pile, and I could write again! (Admittedly not the hardest writers block out there, but this did the trick)
3. Think about the view you’re facing every time you look up, which, if you are still in the early stages, is a lot. I found that sitting in a room that overlooks three rooms and then windows are far too much distractions. I’ve at least found that views that either have a window overviewing nature for the day time, or a very tidy no-distractions desk for nighttime writing can result in hours on end of productive writing.
4. Clearly, find out early on whether you like to be surrounded be people and what noise level you are comfortable writing in. I have friends who needs other people to be present in order to produce, and friends who needs a minimum of background noise. Here everyone is individually different, in comparison to the earlier three advices, (haha), but in all seriousness- experiment! If writing in a busy cafe doesn’t do it, then maybe you need to be slightly more isolated.
5. Procrastinations. If you suddenly feel like washing the floor – I say do it! Just know that you’re not escaping what you’re meant to be doing. I’ve been writing my masters over the past 3 months of summer bliss and in addition to the practical matters you have to do, there’s been the temptations that follows having free will. But when on a tight schedule – there needs to be a bigger perspective. And this can be applied to almost any type of writing, how ever long your assignment might be- whether it’s masters length or shorter, you should always divide it up to smaller tasks. This way you can both achieve goals on a regular basis and see that little mile poles takes you further. This can probably be applied to other things than writing. But now the matters are drifting away from writers block help..
One thing I can say about my master in particular is that it’s been a pure delight working on the data collected from the interviews. I can absolutely recommend this process of writing a long term assignment – as long as you love what you are writing about. The topic cannot bore you, then you will encounter all writer blocks known to man. The most important part of your writing is the thinking and deciding that goes on before you even create the document intended for your masterpiece.
There now, this have been fairly applicable to many types of writing issues, I hope, but I will write at least twice again. Probably not before the master is handed in, again, it’s happening relatively soon, but when permission is given to talk talk about the topical matters, a mean of communicating this will be given. I could also write a blog post on what a roller coaster it can be, productivity wise, writing these longer assignments, but hopefully the few guidelines above could help to a certain degree to at least avoid the most unnecessary of the writers blocks. Two more advice springs to mind –
6. Talk to a friend about it. Just by describing why you are stuck and can never possibly write again may loosen up. Your friend or preferred trustee does not even need to be an expert in the area you are writing, it is actually preferable that he/she is unfamiliar with it. At least enough for you needing to explain things for both of you at a level where you both comprehend, and then – pow- it loosens up! Just like that and you realise how incredibly simple it really is, or at least can be. (Or at least I hope so!)
7. Mentors. Get one. Or more! It never hurts and for the bigger things when you are actually stuck for real it can be very relieving to have someone to bounce of ideas with- both to keep you contained within the assigned area you have chosen, but also because they are there to answer all the questions you might possible have! I haven’t written mine about writers block, at least not directly, but they have at least cured a fair few. I might put that in the ‘acknowledgement’ bit that is soon to come..
I’m sure there could be more, but as of right now, this is it.
Take care and I will update as soon as it make sense to do so.